1. Green tea fights dementia

    Tea compound erases dementia damage

    Your brain is under assault. Right now, as you sit there reading this letter, it's under attack from every direction by the metals that can build up and form the nasty "brain plaques" that lead to dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

    But you can fight back.

    There's a 100 percent natural shield you can deploy in your brain that can withstand those metal bullets and stop plaques from forming.

    It's cheap... it's safe... it's widely available... and if you've been listening to me, it's already part of your daily routine.

    It's epigallocatechin­3­gallate, aka EGCG, the powerful antioxidant found in every single pipin' hot cup of tea.

    EGCG is one of the main reasons tea drinkers have a lower risk of dementia in the first place. And now, in a new study, researchers isolated that EGCG and set it loose against the metals that cause brain plaques to see what would happen.

    And what happened caused their jaws to hit the floor, because EGCG fought off Alzheimer's in two distinct ways.

    First, it practically disintegrated the plaques that form from high levels of metals (specifically copper, iron, and zinc).

    And second, it stopped new plaques from forming.

    The researchers say they're going to try to tweak the EGCG to make it work better.

    If they do, I'll be the first to let you know.

    Usually, however, this means simply altering the substance in some way so that it can be patented as a synthetic and sold as a drug -- and usually (but not always), that just makes it more expensive and less effective. (I'll have more on that little trick on Friday.)

    So for now, stick to the EGCG you already know and love. The new study used an extract form, which you'll find in any natural foods store or vitamin shop, but you can also get it from plain old tea.

    Almost all true teas -- green, white, black, oolong, etc. -- have at least some level of EGCG. But for the absolute highest levels, go for green or white.

  2. Green tea compound can wipe out tumors

    Beating cancer with green tea

    The next big cancer "wonder drug" is sitting in your cupboard right now.

    You already know how green tea can help slash your risk of getting the disease in the first place. But now, researchers are on the verge of a breakthrough that could transform one of the antioxidants in green tea from a "risk reducer" to a cold-blooded killer.

    Killer of tumors, that is.

    The antioxidant is EGCG. That's short for epigallocatechin gallate, so let's stick to calling it EGCG, which we've always known is great at wiping out tumors.

    Trouble is, it's downright awful with directions.

    When EGCG is swallowed or delivered intravenously, it doesn't go right to the tumor. It goes everywhere -- getting so lost along the way that the little bit that eventually makes it to the scene of the cancer isn't nearly enough to put up a fight.

    Iron, on the other hand, makes a beeline for tumors -- and researchers have now found a way to attach EGCG to the protein that carries the iron.

    The result is a tumor-seeking missile.

    In a series of lab experiments, the new targeted treatment caused tumors to shrink and even vanish. In one test, 40 percent of skin tumors were wiped out while another 30 percent shrank -- all in the space of just a single month.

    Chemo only wishes it was that effective!

    Of course, that's an experiment in a lab. And since researchers are still tweaking this new approach, human trials could still be some ways off.

    In the meantime, brew yourself a cup of green tea -- it might not go right to the tumor, but it could still fight cancer, protect the heart, and even help you to live longer.

  3. Green tea battles Alzheimer's

    Another study on green tea has found that it could be a weapon in the battle against Alzheimer's disease.

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