I've said for years that the only beverage you should drink in place of water is green tea. Now two new studies show doing so can fight cancer and preserve your memory.

In the first study, researchers found that EGCG, a polyphenols rich in green tea, induces apoptosis (cell death) in liver cancer cells. The good news is that the researchers found that EGCG doesn't just induce cancer-killing effects in the lab dish. It also killed the cells in experimental animals that had cancers implanted in them. That strongly suggests that you can get enough EGCG by mouth to effectively fight cancer.

At a medical conference a few years back, one of my esteemed European colleagues, John Ionescu, PhD, of Germany presented fascinating information on EGCG. He pointed out how EGCG can act as a protective antioxidant in certain conditions and as an oxidant in others. In the degenerated state of cancer cells, it acts as an oxidant. And, as you know, cancer cells are sensitive to oxidation.

In the second study, researchers studied the Japanese to determine why they have such a low rate of Alzheimer's and dementia. They found that their high green-tea consumption might be an explanation.

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This was a larger study on 1,002 Japanese of both sexes. Those in the top third of consumption (two or more cups per day) developed less than half the incidence of memory loss compared to those in the lowest third (less than three or less cups per week). That reduction even included severe impairment. Those in the middle third had a 38% reduction in impairment. No protection was noted from black tea or coffee drinking.

This article on green tea supports the oxidative stress theory. Green tea is loaded with specific flavonoids that protect your neurons from the neurotoxic free radical peroxynitrate.

Here you have two more reasons to drink green tea as water. I don't recommend any other beverage in lieu of water. Please don't hesitate to make green tea (organic) a part of your daily regimen. I don't have enough information to tell you that green tea is as effective as its constituent EGCG. However, I am always partial to the whole product, and will remain so in this case until I see evidence to tell you otherwise.

You can find high-quality green tea in any health food store and now in many grocery stores. Just make sure it's organic.

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