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Green Tea Polyphenols Protect Diabetics

Feb 28, 2005

Antioxidants such as Green Tea Catechins are taken to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals encompass bleaching and oxidizing agents such as hydrogen peroxide, in disease states these are commonly generated by the immune system. These free radicals contribute greatly to inflammation and tissue destruction, and they cause severe and worsening damage in many disease states. In diabetes, free radical damage is recognized as a major contributing factor for the developent of the many severe complications of late stages of the disease. In diabetes, these free radicals greatly contribute to the destruction of the blood vessels (hardening of the arteries and coronary artery disease), nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), eye damage (diabetic cataracts and diabetic retinopathy), kidey damage, and damage to the brain commonly seen in avancing diabetes.

Green Tea Extract high in the various catechins such as EGCG protected the erythrocytes (red blood cells) of diabetics caused by inflammatory chemicals. The Green Tea Extract was actually more active in the diseased blood cells versus the blood from normal and healthy individuals indicating greater protection when the body is under greater assault. EGCG was the strongest, most protective Green Tea catechin (the strongest Green Tea Polyphenols) for the diabetics. These researchers feel that Green Tea type catechins if taken by diabetics, will offer some protection from the development of long-term complications in diabetes. The study is published in the January-February 2005 issue of the journal Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology.

Feverfew May Change the Way Leukemia is Treated

Parthenolide, an active component of the Feverfew plant may have potent activity against human leukemia, so potent that the National Cancer Institute has put parthenolide on its rapid access program - a fast track for taking promising experimental compounds from the lab to human studies. Feverfew, the parent herb, has been used for centuries to treat migraine patients.

Malignant (cancer causing) stem cells are central to the initiation, growth, and relapse of acute and chronic myelogenous leukemia (AML and CML). Malignant stem cells actually give rise to, or create the active cancerous cells. Leukemia stem cells are rare and distinct and they are an abvious critical target for treatig leukemia. However, to date, very few agents have been shown to directly target leukemia stem cells.

Researchers in the Division of Hematolgy/ Oncology and the Center for Human Genetics and Molecular Pediatrics Disease at the University of Rochester Medical School (and from the Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Kentucky Medical Center) exposed human leukemia cells to parthenolide for 18 hours and the results were breathtaking: the parthenolide killed leukemia stem cells, the cells that give rise to leukemia cancer cells. Whats more, parthenolide robustly killed the leukemia stem cells without harming normal-healthy blood cells. Parthenolide seems to be a potent anti-leukemia agent that is nontoxic.

When the researchers compared parthenolide to the chemotherapeutic drug cytarabine, a drug commonly used to treat leukemia, the parthenolide was better than the chemotherapy. The cytarabine had modest toxicity against the human leukemia cells but had relatively high toxicity to the normal-healthy blood cells. The parthenolide is much more specific to leukemia cells.

Additionally, because the parthenolide worked against leukemia stem cells it got at the heart of the disease where as other treatments for leukemia are like pulling out weeds but leaving the roots intact.

Furthermore, the researchers say the parthenolide may make the cancer cells more sensitive to other cancer-fighting agents. The study is published in the February 1st, 2005 issue of the journal Blood.