There is considerable research evidence that green tea is associated with reduced risk of various forms of cancer. Now a team of Spanish and British researchers has discovered how epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a naturally occurring polyphenol in green tea, binds with a specific enzyme (dihydrofolate reductase/DHFR) which can inhibit cancer cell growth.

The enzyme, which is very similar to the drug methotrexate used in chemotherapy has an effect even at low concentrations (the equivalent of two to three cups of green tea a day). ECGC concentrations are five times greater in green tea than black tea, according to the researchers. (Cancer Res. 2005 65: 2059-2064).