Scientists claim green tea cure for stretch marks
Antioxidant in extracts slow progression
of cancers, stroke, diabetes, heart disease
Can green tea provide the novel cure for stretch marks? Scientists claim stretch marks may soon fade from memory thanks to a cream, which is claimed to stop them in their tracks, and its secret weapon.
Named ‘Solution for Stretch Marks’, the cream, according to a recent review in the British Journal of Dermatology, is billed as the first effective treatment and could help older mothers, whose skin is more prone to scarring.
The culmination of four years of research at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom (U.K.), its key ingredient is a compound found in green tea, which calms red, angry skin.
The lotion, which has just been launched, is designed to tackle marks as they appear, so is not expected to have any effect on existing ones.
A 2007 study concluded that green tea could hold promise as a new treatment for skin disorders such as psoriasis and dandruff. Researchers studied an animal model for inflammatory skin diseases, often characterized by patches of dry, red, flaky skin caused by the inflammation and overproduction of skin cells. Those treated with green tea showed slower growth of skin cells and the presence of a gene that regulates the cells’ life cycles.
Stretch marks arise when deep layers of the skin are stretched and torn, essentially creating a miniature wound, and a wide variety of ointments claim to reverse the damage.
Green tea is made from fresh leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Because green tea is one of the least processed forms of tea, it retains the majority of its antioxidants and polyphenols, which are known to be largely beneficial for health.
Previous research has suggested green tea can aid weight loss, reduce cholesterol and protect against numerous illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, weight loss to liver disorders, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, some studies have reported negative health effects if the beverage is consumed in large doses; animal studies have linked excessive green tea consumption to dramatic weight loss and impaired embryonic development.
Also, some epidemiological studies have shown health benefits with green tea, including a reduced incidence of prostate cancer.
Green tea was used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to control bleeding and heal wounds, aid digestion, improve heart and mental health and regulate body temperature.
Researchers had in earlier studies shown that men with prostate cancer who consumed the active compounds (antioxidants) in green tea demonstrated a significant reduction in serum markers predictive of prostate cancer progression.
Results of a year-long clinical trial conduced by researchers in Italy demonstrated that consumption of green tea polyphenols reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer in men with high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN).
The results of the study were published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
Meanwhile, the recent review in the British Journal of Dermatology concluded that very few actually work, causing anxiety for women.
The name of the special compound in Solution for Stretch Marks is a trade secret but green tea is drunk in the Far East to ease eczema and other skin conditions.
Dr. Ardeshir Bayat, the lotion’s co-inventor and an expert in wound healing, said that unlike other stretch mark creams, the ointment ‘actually penetrates the skin and works on a much deeper level’.
Douglas McGeorge, the cream’s other creator, said most existing treatments merely moisturise the skin. He added: “More than ever we’re seeing women have children later in life. Their skin doesn’t ‘snap back’ into shape as normally it would in younger mums.
“With glamorous celebrity mothers regularly photographed in swimsuits and bikinis, there’s a natural search by women for treatments to try and maintain a youthful appearance of their tummies and thighs and combat the inevitable toll mature skin takes through pregnancy – namely stretch marks.”
The lotion costs £39.99 for 100ml and should be rubbed in twice a day from the first sign of problems.
Green tea has previously been found to safeguard healthy skin cells, while killing cancer cells.
In 2003, Dr. Stephen Hsu, a cell biologist at the Medical College of Georgia in the United States (U.S.), studied the most abundant green tea micronutrient, EGCG. His team tracked the normal growth of skin cells and compared it to the growth of cells when exposed to EGCG.
Hsu said: “Cells that migrate toward the surface of the skin normally live about 28 days, and by day 20, they basically sit on the upper layer of the skin getting ready to die. But EGCG reactivates them. I was so surprised.”
Possible health benefits of green tea, according to MedicalNewsToday are:
According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols in tea have been shown to decrease tumor growth in laboratory and animal studies and may protect against damage caused by ultraviolet UVB radiation.
In countries where green tea consumption is high, cancer rates tend to be lower, but it is impossible to know for sure whether it is the green tea that prevents cancer in these specific populations or other lifestyle factors.
One large-scale clinical study compared green tea drinkers with non-drinkers and found that those who drank the most tea were less likely to develop pancreatic cancer, particularly women, who were 50 per cent less likely to develop the disease.
Studies have also shown the positive impacts of green tea on breast, bladder, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal, lung, prostate, skin and stomach cancer.
Researchers believe that it is the high level of polyphenols in tea that help kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing, however the exact mechanisms by which tea interacts with cancerous cells is unknown.
Other studies have shown a lack of preventative effects of tea on cancer. The amount of tea required for cancer-preventive effects has also varied widely in studies – from two to 10 cups per day.
In 2005, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that “there is no credible evidence to support qualified health claims for green tea consumption and a reduced risk of gastric, lung, colon/rectal, esophageal, pancreatic, ovarian, and combined cancers.”