EGCG from Green Tea strongly inhibited small intestinal tumor growth in mice

November 18, 2005

Green Teas most important polyphenol, EGCG was given by mouth to mice in their drink. These mice are a common and well known model for intestinal cancer research in humans. The mice that received the Green Tea EGCG had a significant drop in the formation of tumors in their small intestine. The EGCG was supplemented at two different concentrations (0.08% and 0.16%) and it decreased the rate of tumor formation by 37% to 47% (respectively). Caffeine which was tested separately had no ability to block the formation of small intestinal tumors. A second experiment duplicated the ability of EGCG to block tumor growth in the small intestine even with concentrations as low as 0.02%. EGCG inhibited substances in the body that supported tumor growth and increased the level of agents that fight tumor growth. The studies were performed at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University and are published in the November 15th, 2005 issue of the journal Cancer Research.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral supplement levels have shown protective activity in research.

Blueberry polyphenols may be very important for inhibiting metastasis

MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases are a group of enzymes that break down proteins such as collagen that are normally found in the space between cells in our tissues. Because they break down the boundary between cells, even cancerous cells, they are an important part of the spread of cancer. MMPs are a known target for inhibiting the spread of cancer and their inhibition are a new strategy for drugs undergoing research and development to fight cancer.

In this study researchers used 3 preparations of blueberries on prostate cancer cells; a crude preparation, an anthocyanin rich preparation, and a proanthocyanidin rich preparation. After 24 hours the cells were inspected and all 3 supplements were found to inhibit MMP activity but the proanthocyanidin rich supplement did it the best. These findings show that the polyphenols in blueberries inhibit MMP activity in prostate cancer cells and they may be valuable in inhibiting the metastasis of this and other cancerous tumor types. The study is published in the October 2005 issue of the journal Biochemistry and Cell Biology.