EGCG from Green Tea works well with Curcumin from Turmeric in breast cancer research

January 16, 2008

Both epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from Green Tea and Curcumin from Turmeric have shown efficacy in various in vivo and in vitro models of cancer. This study was designed by researchers from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Otago in New Zealand to determine the efficacy of these naturally derived polyphenolic compounds when given in combination. Studies in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells demonstrated that EGCG + Curcumin were synergistically cytotoxic and that this correlated with stopping the cycle of the cancer cells growth. After 12 hr, EGCG plus Curcumin were stifling the growth of the cells and this correlated to a 50% decrease in cell number compared to control; the combination weren’t just inhibiting the growth of the cancerous cells but was making them disappear. To determine if this lab result would translate to living beings, female mice lacking an immune system were implanted with MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and treated with either Curcumin or EGCG separately, EGCG together with Curcumin, or vehicle control for 10 weeks. Tumor volume in the EGCG + Curcumin treated mice decreased 49% compared to vehicle control mice. Therefore, these results demonstrate that the combination of EGCG and Curcumin is efficacious in both in vitro and in vivo models of ERalpha- breast cancer. The study is published in the December 20th, 2007 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

Green Tea antioxidants prevent LDL-cholesterol from going rancid reducing damage to blood vessel walls

It has been reported that green tea consumption reduces the risk of coronary artery disease and cardiac events (stroke, heart attack, etc). Catechin is a major constituent of Japanese green tea and an antioxidant. Lipids and oxidization (rancidification) of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) play important roles in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Scientists at the Department of Internal Medicine, Chiba-Hokusoh Hospital, Nippon Medical School in Japan evaluated the effect of Catechin intake on the lipid profile and level of oxidized LDL in plasma. The study population consisted of 40 healthy adult volunteers (10 men, 30 women). Catechin was extracted from green tea leaves. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups, a Catechin group (n = 29) and a control group (n = 11). In the Catechin group, Catechin (500 mg: equivalent to 6 or 7 cups of green tea) was administered orally (they drank it). Venous blood samples were obtained before eating a meal at the start and after 4 weeks without any additional lifestyle modification. Plasma oxidized LDL assay was performed. The baseline lipid profiles and tea consumptions were similar between the two groups. Plasma oxidized LDL was significantly decreased after Catechin administration; EGCG and its associated antioxidants reduced the amount of rancid fats in the blood of these healthy subjects. The mechanism of the beneficial effects of green tea on coronary artery disease might result from a decrease in plasma oxidized LDL. This valuable study is published in the November 2007 issue of the International Heart Journal.