Green Tea May Protect Smokers from Oral Cancer

Nov 17, 2004

One American per hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, dies of oral cancer (this includes cancer in the mouth and pharynx but not including cancer of the larynx). Of the 30,000 newly diagnosed cases of oral cancer this year, only half will be around in 2009. Of those who survive oral cancer, they have a 20 times higher risk of developing a second cancer for the next five to ten years. 90% of all cases of oral cancer are squamous cell carcinomas and they usually occur in people over 40 years of age. Tobacco use is the greatest risk of developing oral cancer causing about 75% of all cases. Combining alcohol use with smoking increases the risk by 15 fold. The human wart virus strains HPV16 and HPV18 also increase the risk of developing this cancer especially in younger people. Recently tooth whitening peroxide gels have been implicated in the risk of developing oral cancer, as has been a diet low in fresh fruits and vegetables.

In this pilot intervention study, 3 heavy smokers (10 cigarettes or more per day) were compared to 3 never smokers. A pilot study is a test to evaluate if a larger-more costly study should be undertaken. Green tea total extract (400-500mg of green tea per cup) at the rate of 5 cups per day were consumed for one month. Two oral cytology tests were done each week to check green teas ability to block the cancer causing effects of smoking (a cytology test is a study of the health and structure of a cell). The study shows that during green tea use the smoking-induced DNA damage was decreased, abnormal cell growth was inhibited, abnormal cells were induced to commit cellular suicide, and cells were restored to a more normal growth pattern. Drinking green tea reduced the number of damaged cells in the mouths of smokers hopefully decreasing the risk of oral cancer. The study is published in the November 11th, 2004 issue of the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.

An Analysis of 15 Clinical Studies and Epidemiological Research Shows that Soy Isoflavones Benefit Bone Health

Osteoporosis the brittle bone condition that increases the risk of bone fracture, admission to a nursing home, or even in the case of hip fractures - death, is a worldwide problem of immense magnitude that is expected to worsen in many countries with aging populations. It is well established that many nutrients impact the health of the skeletal system. In this regard there is particular interest in the possible skeletal benefits of soybean isoflavones (especially in light of recent studies showing the dangers of horse-derived hormones).

15 clinical trials were included that examined the effects of soy isoflavones or isoflavone rich soy protein on bone mineral density. The findings suggest that isoflavones reduce bone loss in younger post menopausal women (this is where you loose the higher percentage of your bone mineral density to osteoporosis). Unfortunately, the studies were too short to gauge a greater benefit fro the isoflavones. The epidemiological evidence shows that isoflavones are associated with stronger bones in Asian populations. The clinical data suggests 80mg a day of isoflavone intake is needed for skeletal benefit. The researchers feel that health professionals are justified in encouraging postmenopausal women to consume soy isoflavone containing foods for bone health. The study is published in the November 2004 issue of Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care.

Soy Isoflavones Reduce the Number of Hot Flushes, Improve Physical Symptoms, and Alleviate Vaginal Dryness after Menopause

In a 3-month study of postmenopausal women the effectiveness of soy isoflavones was gauged for hot flushes, physical symptoms, and vaginal dryness. The women were split into five groups. Group A received 50mg of isoflavones by mouth each day and Group B received 75mg a day by mouth, Group C received 6mg of isoflavones a day transdermally (applied to the skin) and Group D received 12mg a day transdermally, Group E was the control-untreated group. Hot flushes, the Kupperman Index (a measure of symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, nervousness, dizziness, melancholy, headaches and tingling), and vaginal dryness were measured at baseline (at the very start of the study before soy supplementation), and then after 5, 9, and 13 weeks. The isoflavone treatment led to a progressive and significant reduction in the number of hot flushes in Groups A, B, and D. At week 13 the Kupperman Index and the hot flush score decreased significantly in all the treated groups but not in the control group, but vaginal dryness was only reduced in Group B (75mg a day orally). The study was performed at the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics Outpatient, Menopausal Clinic, Second University of Naples, in Naples, Italy and is published in the journal Minerva Ginecologia.

Selenium May Prevent the Recurrence of Colon Adenomas

Selenium protects you from colon cancer according to a new study. Studies show that selenium lowers the risk of a number of cancers including prostate cancer (76% reduced risk) and lung cancer (46% reduced risk). It's been studied for its effect on bladder cancer and has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer of the liver, brain, pancreas, kidney, esophagus, and stomach. Selenium also fights tumors if they appear and also improves survival.

In this study researchers at the Arizona Cancer Center, at the University of Arizona analyzed data from 1,700 people who had participated in 3 colorectal cancer trials. Participants had already had one cancerous polyp removed from the colon or rectum and each trial focused on preventing the recurrence of additional cancerous polyps. These individuals are considered to be at high risk for developing an additional bout of colon-rectal cancer. In one trial they tested a high-fiber cereal, in another they tested a low-fat, high-fiber diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and in the third they tested Vitamins C, E and Beta-carotene. Taking all three trials into consideration it was found that what protected the participants from colon and rectal cancer recurrence was an overall intake of selenium. Those with the highest level of selenium had a 44% reduced risk of developing another cancerous polyp for the highest versus the lowest selenium blood levels. The study is published in the November 17th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.