Green Tea and Photoaging
The Ancient Asian Secret to Repairing Sun Damage
You ever notice how them Asians age pretty good? It’s because they have all the Asian leaves. What are Asian leaves? Leaves in Asia.
You know what Asian leaves do for you? They make you live forever and they protect you from sun exposure.
Don’t believe me? I don’t lie.
Here’s a page of studies about the UV-protecting effects of random Asian leaves. Maybe I’m not 100% accurate, but sure looks like if it’s a leaf and it’s in Asia, eating it will protect you from the sun – allowing you to be outside in the sunshine getting the D all day. The vitamin kind.
They don’t want you to know about this, but I hooked up with a chubby Korean girl a long time ago and she gave me the whole story.
She told me all about galla chinensis, coriandrum sativum extract, michelia alba, and many more plants while I was packing up her stuff so she could leave.
Again, I got a whole page of studies here confirming.
She might have been lying on Tinder, but she wasn’t lying about the Asian leaves.
All these fountain-of-youth leaves are in Asia. Now we know who God’s chosen people really are.
Asians want to keep this a secret, but I’m about to let the cat out of the bag. And this one is gonna live. We’re all gonna be looking good.
We’re gonna talk about one Asian leaf in particular.
It’s cheap as dirt. Widely available everywhere. There’s a whole lot of studies on it and they’ve found that this leaf basically performs miracles on your body when you consume it – especially when it comes to repairing sun damage.
Green tea – aka camellia sinensis
Green tea has been extensively studied for a long time and drinking it has been discovered to have impressive correlations with reduced cognitive decline, obesity, cancer, heart disease, degenerative brain diseases, type-2 diabetes, and all-cause mortality.
Why is this cheap nothing-special beverage so amazing?
Green tea contains a flavanol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) that’s one of the most potent antioxidants known. Green tea itself is one of the strongest sources of antioxidants, the best among other teas, and is said to contain roughly 10x more antioxidants than you’ll find in any fruit or vegetable source.
So what do antioxidants do? Basically they slow-down the aging process by preventing and healing oxidative stress in the body, repairing DNA damage, and cleaning up free radicals in your body. Green tea slows down aging inside and out.
Guess who drinks the most green tea?
Guess who lives the longest?
Guess who looks the youngest?
Guess where green tea comes from?
Green Tea and Photoaging
Drinking green tea protects your skin from sun damage in two ways
#1 – Them MMPs
Green reduces expression of post-UV exposure matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). These are enzymes your body unfortunately expresses after UV exposure that break down skin collagen. Sucks. Sun is awesome and healthy, but ages your skin. Good news – green tea (and a whole bunch of other nutrients) reduce and prevent this effect.
This experiment tested the capability of orally-consumed green tea polyphenols to prevent UV photodamage in mice and found that green tea inhibits UV-induced oxidative damage to skin and reduces expression of MMPs.
#2 – Green Tea Slows, Prevents, and Even Heals Skin Cancer
Study page alert! I got one for green tea. Whole bunch of studies. Whole bunch on skin cancer. Whole bunch of green studies conducted by Asian scientists.
The way they do these studies is nasty – that’s how you know they’re good studies. If you feel bad for the subjects, it’s a good study.
For skin cancer treatment studies they intentionally induce skin cancer in hairless mice by regularly blasting them with ridiculous, excessive doses of high-intensity UV light for long periods of time – months. One group of mice will get the treatment and the other gets the placebo. Scientists compare the effects of the treatment to the placebo for preventative, inhibitory, arresting, and healing effects on skin cancer.
In that green tea study page there are three of these mouse studies. In every single one the mice given green tea enjoy massively reduced skin cancer incidence and severity compared to the placebo group.
In this one two groups of hairless mice were blasted with UV for six months to intentionally initiate and promote skin cancer. One group was given plain water to drink during this time, the other group was given green tea to drink. The green tea group suffered 35% fewer tumors, 63% less tumor multiplicity, and 55% less tumor growth compared to the plain water group.
In this one Asian scientists did the same study, but they did ten different versions of it testing different strengths of green tea. In half of the studies, giving the mice green tea resulted in either complete regression of skin cancer tumor or 90+% inhibition of tumor growth compared to control mice. The other half of studies found green tea effective for inhibiting tumor growth by 46-89% compared to the control mice.
And in this one those same Asian scientists did the same study testing different green tea brew strengths. They found that the stronger the green tea potency – the better the sunburn-preventing effect. The mice given green tea had 55-93% smaller tumors and suffered 55% fewer number of tumors than the mice given plain water. Both weak green tea and strong green tea were also found to be completely effective for totally preventing the formation of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) skin cancer in all mice groups.
Don’t let them little mice die in vain. Drink green tea.
The Human Studies
It’s not legal to torture humans so human skin cancer studies aren’t as good, but there’s still some interesting findings.
In this one scientists evaluated the tea drinking rates of 770 BCC skin cancer patients, 696 SCC skin cancer patients, and 715 healthy controls with no skin cancer. After adjusting for age, sex, and sunburn history, researchers found that regular tea drinkers had a significantly lower incidence of SCC skin cancer, slightly reduced incidence of BCC skin cancer, and this was most strongly demonstrated in heavy, life-long tea drinkers.
This one is an in vitro study, done in a petri dish, where human skin samples with melanoma were treated with EGCG (the main, famous polyphenol of green tea). You know what that EGCG did to those melanoma cancer cells? Killed them! There’s no greater feeling than killing the enemy. The EGCG inhibited melanoma proliferation and induced apoptosis (programmed cell death). The researchers concluded you have to drink 4-6 cups of green tea a day to get this effect. You heard them.
I’m not smart enough to understand the super technical explanations of how green tea prevents skin cancer, but if you’re up to it here are five articles explaining all of that:
Head over to your nearest nude spot and suckie-suckie you some green tea. Get the D without the photodamage. The vitamin kind.
Worried about skin cancer from sun exposure? Don’t be. Read here.
Want to know some more foods than protect you from sun damage so you can spend even more time outside? Read here. It’s soooooo huge.
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Until next time,