Bioactive components of tea: Cancer, inflammation and behavior
Author: Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia and Marco Vinicio Ramirez-Mares and Sirima Puangpraphant
Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide. Several studies have suggested that catechins and theaflavins found in tea may reduce the risk of various types of cancers. Major advances have been made to understand the molecular events leading to cancer prevention; however, the evidence is not conclusive. Evidence from pre-clinical and clinical studies also suggests that persistent inflammation can progress to cancer. Several possible mechanisms of action may explain the cancer preventive aspects of tea components specifically anti-inflammatory effects. In regards to brain health, green tea catechins have been recognized as multifunctional compounds for neuroprotection with beneficial effects on vascular function and mental performance. Theanine, a unique amino acid in tea, enhances cognition in humans and has neuroprotective effects. Human interventional studies with well characterized tea products are needed.