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Can Green Tea Protect Liver Transplant Patients?

In recent years, green tea has gained a lot of attention for its ability to prevent diseases and keep us healthy. Most of the attention has been on green tea’s ability to prevent cancer and heart disease, and some of the research results in this area have been quite promising. Look at some of the findings thus far.

• Green tea was shown to be an effective adjunct to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. A study concluded that patients who received green tea along with their chemotherapy showed a higher concentration of their chemotherapy drugs in their cancer cells than those who had chemotherapy alone.

• Green tea acted was shown to act as a scavenger against skin cancer cells, whether taken orally or applied to the skin.

• Green tea was shown to have a significant lowering effect on post menopausal women’s circulating estrogen level. We know that a high circulating estrogen level after menopause increases the breast cancer risk.

• A study conducted in China showed that regular tea drinkers had a significantly lower risk of biliary tract cancer and gallbladder cancer – even if they had gall bladder disease – than those who did not drink green tea.

• Another study showed that green tea consumption appears to have the ability to act as a sort of scavenger against a substance called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). ROS are a particular form of free radicals that contribute to the development of prostate cancer, when produced in excess.

• Green tea has been shown to prevent heart disease by preventing LDL cholesterol circulating in the blood from oxidizing. When LDL cholesterol doesn’t oxidize, it cannot harden into plaque and stick to arterial walls.

• Green tea has been shown to regulate blood sugar naturally. Researchers believe that it has potential to help control Type II diabetes.

But, there may be additional fascinating news. It’s possible that green tea may increase the chances of success in liver transplants, as well. In the past, studies have shown that green tea’s anti-oxidants might be effective in treating several forms of liver disease. But now it seems that there may be even more excellent news about how green tea might help the liver.

Two different studies have shown ways that green tea might be helpful in increase the chance of success in liver transplants. One common complication in liver transplants is ischemia, or restricted blood flow. When blood flow is restricted after a transplant, the chances are greater that the patient will develop complications or reject the organ. Ischemia is more common in obese people, and when the transplanted liver is fatty.

One study showed that the simple act of rinsing a fatty liver in a solution that contained green tea extract before transplanting it reduced the chances of transplant failure.

In another study, some mice were fed EGCG, the most significant anti-oxidant in green tea, while others were not. They were all then subjected to surgeries resulting in ischemia that threatened to injure their livers.

The mice that were fed green tea had a 100% survival rate, while those that were not fed green tea had only a 65% survival rate. When the mice that were fed green tea underwent tissue analysis, they were found to have far less liver cell death and far more viable liver tissue than the mice who did not receive green tea.

In addition, the study showed that green tea has the ability to reduce the stout content of fatty livers by as much as 55%, while protecting the liver tissue.

This is fantastic news for liver transplant patients. Each year, about 4500 livers become available for transplant from cadaver donors. In addition, living donor programs are becoming more well loved and safe. Each year, more and more liver transplants are performed from living donors, who typically make a complete recovery within weeks of their surgery.

But, each year many patients die while waiting for transplants, and some transplants fail due to complications. Each year, about 5% of cadaver transplant patients die within one month of the transplant, and another 9% will die within one year. Statistics are better for live donor transplant patients, with approximately a 3% death rate in the first year, and just over 5% death rate in the first year.

If green tea can reduce the number of transplant failure by helping ensure a higher level of viable liver tissue and reducing the risk of ischemia, then liver transplants can see an even higher success rate than today. This, coupled with the increased success of live donor transplants makes facing a liver transplant far less frightening.

Green tea seems to hold a fantastic deal of possibility for the future. There are numerous diseases that green tea seems to have the ability to prevent or help treat. As research continues, it’s likely that we’ll learn more ways that we can use green tea to protect our health.

Jon M. Stout is the Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. Golden Moon Tea carefully selects the finest rare and orthodox teas, which are processed slowly and handcrafted with extreme care. At their website, you can learn more about their current



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