The positive health benefits of Green Tea Extract have been reported for many years.
Green tea is an abundant source of a polyphenol called epigallaocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG. This compound works by interrupting the signaling pathways that are associated with cancer stem cells. Studies show that EGCG inhibits the proteins that are required for cancer cell survival and can shut off the mechanisms that can trigger their growth. Because of this, EGCG has the ability to:
1. prevent cancer cell proliferation
2. prevent metastasis
3. prevent metastasis (spreading of cancer)
4. kill cancer stem cells
4. quell inflammation
Studies in humans regarding Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)-
Mayo Clinic first tested EGCG in a variety of laboratory assays about eight years ago, and it was found to reduce the survival of Chronic Lyphocytic Leukemia cells. This laboratory finding was followed by a successful phase I clinical trial — the first time green tea extract had been studied in CLL patients.
In this study researchers found that the blood lymphocyte (leukemia cell) count was reduced in one-third of participants, and that the majority of patients who entered the study with enlarged lymph nodes due to involvement by CLL saw a 50 percent or greater reduction in their lymph node size.
Dr Tait Shanafelt, hematologist and lead author of the study, said: “Although only a comparative phase III trial can determine whether EGCG can delay progression of CLL, the benefits we have seen in most CLL patients who use the chemical suggest that it has modest clinical activity and may be useful for stabilizing this form of leukemia, potentially slowing it down.”
“These studies advance the notion that a nutraceutical like EGCG can and should be studied as cancer preventives,” says Neil Kay, M.D., a hematology researcher whose laboratory first tested the green tea extract in leukemic blood cells from CLL patients. “Using nontoxic chemicals to push back cancer growth to delay the need for toxic therapies is a worthy goal in oncology research — particularly for forms of cancer initially managed by observation such as CLL.”
Mayo reports that many patients who have been diagnosed with CLL have started to include EGCG supplements as part of their therapies. Supplements are readily available over the counter. Link to this study
More details on this study- Author and alternative cancer advocate Ralph Moss, PhD, reviewed a study in his newsletter, Cancer Decisions. According to Dr. Moss, 33 patients were treated with varying dosages of EGCG. The doses ranged from 400 mg up to 2,000 mg, twice a day. After just one month of treatment, one patient experienced a partial remission. A third of the patients experienced more than a 20 percent decrease in the number of lymphocytes in their blood. And 11 out of 12 patients that previously had visibly swollen lymph nodes experienced a reduction of at least 50 percent in the size of these nodes.
The next study involved patients who began drinking green tea on their own and the observations that were made by doctors – The next study is based on several patients who became aware of the effectiveness of green tea for leukemic conditions and began to using it as a complementary treatment. You can read more about the study here. One person’s experience: “This patient was categorized as having stage IV disease and observation was recommended. Follow-up CT scans in November 2003 (8 months after diagnosis) and May 2004 (14 months after diagnosis) demonstrated measurable progression of lymphadenopathy in the left axilla (largest node 3.0 cm× 2.3 cm) and mesentery (∼2.7 cm× 1.2 cm). The patient remained asymptomatic and continued observation was recommended. After hearing reports regarding the in vitro effects of green tea extract on CLL B-cells, the patient began drinking a cup of green tea each day that was prepared with two tea bags starting August 2004 (which was 17 months after diagnosis). Follow-up CT scans in November 2004 (20 months after diagnosis) and June 2005 (27 months after diagnosis) demonstrated a 50% decrease in the sum of the products of the six largest lymph node areas consistent with a PR according to the International Working Group criteria for non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The patient continues to do well drinking green tea daily 27 months after diagnosis and has not required any conventional therapy.” Read about four more patients from the study who employed green tea on their own to treat and stabilize their leukemic conditions without the need for further conventional intervention.
Two studies on green tea extract for prostate cancer– Asian cultures have promoted the many health benefits of green tea for thousands of years. In the last decade, hundreds of studies confirm that one can benefit from drinking a few cups of green tea every day. Two recent studies demonstrate that it provides powerful prostate protection.
Study 1- A case-controlled study was conducted in Hangzhou, southeast China during 2001-2002. The cases were 130 incident patients with histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the prostate. The controls were 274 hospital inpatients without prostate cancer or any other malignant diseases, and matched to the age of cases. Information on duration, quantity and frequency of usual tea consumption, as well as the number of new batches brewed per day, were collected by face-to-face interview using a structured questionnaire. The risk of prostate cancer for tea consumption was assessed using multivariate logistic regression adjusting for age, locality, education, income, body mass index, physical activity, alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, total fat intake, marital status, age at marriage, number of children, history of vasectomy and family history of prostate cancer. Among the cases, 55.4% were tea drinkers compared to 79.9% for the controls. Almost all the tea consumed was green tea. The prostate cancer risk declined with increasing frequency, duration and quantity of green tea consumption. The adjusted odds ratio (OR), relative to non-tea drinkers, were 0.28 (95% CI = 0.17-0.47) for tea drinking, 0.12 (95% CI = 0.06-0.26) for drinking tea over 40 years, 0.09 (95% CI = 0.04-0.21) for those consuming more than 1.5 kg of tea leaves yearly, and 0.27 (95% CI = 0.15-0.48) for those drinking more than 3 cups (1 litre) daily. The dose response relationships were also significant, suggesting that green tea is protective against prostate cancer.
Study 2- Italian researchers studied 62 men with pre-cancerous prostate conditions, which would normally result in cancer in about 30 percent of the cases. Half of the men were given a placebo and the other half consumed an extract of green tea daily. In the placebo group, 9 out of 30 men went on to develop cancer. In the green tea group, however, only 1 out of 32 participants developed the disease. This is consistent with a study of Chinese men which found that those who consumed the most green tea were two-thirds less likely to develop prostate cancer.