Anti cancer properties of Green Tea
- As an enthusiastic green tea drinker (especially Japanese) I though
you would be interested to read of its effects. Also check my
webpage (www.esotericarts.org) click on topics and then green tea
where a student in my School of Esoteric Arts has some interesting
facts, how to store, how to make, tea ceremonies etc.
Anti-Cancer Compound in Green Tea Identified
By Patricia Reaney, Reuters
Mar 15, 2005, 15:16
Spanish and British scientists have discovered how green tea helps
to prevent certain types of cancer.
Researchers at the University of Murcia in Spain (UMU) and the John
Innes Center (JIC) in Norwich, England have shown that a compound
called EGCG in green tea prevents cancer cells from growing by
binding to a specific enzyme.
"We have shown for the first time that EGCG, which is present in
green tea at relatively high concentrations, inhibits the enzyme
dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), which is a recognized, established
target for anti-cancer drugs, " Professor Roger Thorneley, of JIC,
"This is the first time, to our knowledge, a known target for an
anti-cancer drug has been identified as being inhibited by EGCG," he
Green tea has about five times as much EGCG as regular tea, studies
have shown. It decreased rates of certain cancers but scientists
were not sure what compounds were involved or how they worked. Nor
had they determined how much green tea a person would have to drink
to have a beneficial effect, he said.
Thorneley said EGCG is probably just one of a number of anti-cancer
mechanisms in green tea.
"We have identified this enzyme in tumor cells that EGCG targets and
understand how it stops this enzyme from making DNA. This means we
may be able to develop new anti-cancer drugs based on the structure
of the EGCG molecule," Thorneley explained.
The scientists decided to look at ECGC after they realized its
structure was similar to a cancer drug called methotrexate.
"We discovered that EGCG can kill cancer cells in the same way as
methotrexate," Dr Jose Neptuno Rodriguez-Lopez, of UMU, a joint
author of the research published in the journal Cancer Research.
EGCG binds strongly to DHFR, which is essential in both healthy and
cancerous cells. But it does not bind as tightly as methotrexate, so
its side effects on healthy cells could be less severe than those of
Thorneley said EGCG could be a lead compound for new anti-cancer
The findings could also explain why women who drink large amounts of
green tea around the time they conceive and early in their pregnancy
may have an increased risk of having a child with spina bifida or
other neural tube disorders.
Women are advised to take supplements of folic acid because it
protects against spina bifida. But large amounts of green tea could
decrease the effectiveness of folic acid.
"This enzyme, (DHFR), is the one folic acid supplements are given
for. Folic acid deficiency leads to neural tube development
defects," Thorneley added.
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