It has been shown to lower cholesterol, improve blood flow and protect against heart disease. And now scientists believe green tea could be used to develop new drugs to fight cancer.
A chemical extracted from the beverage is an ideal carrier of proteins that combat the disease, according to research by the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Singapore.
Green tea is made up of a class of chemicals called catechins, the most abundant of which is EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate). It is believed EGCG is responsible for green tea's health benefits and could have anti-cancer effects.
Dr Joo Eun Chung and his colleagues have shown anticancer protein Herceptin can combined with EGCG to form a stable and effective complex to deliver a drug to a tumour site.
He said: 'When designing drug carriers, the drug to carrier ratio is an important consideration because the use of high quantities of carriers can result in toxicity as a consequence of poor metabolism and elimination of the carriers.'