Green Tea Compound Fights Cancer

A compound found in green tea may be a weapon in treatments for cancer, according to a new study from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

The extract, known as epigallocatechin gallate, has been known to have preventative anti-cancer properties but fails to reach tumors when delivered by injecting it into the veins.  However, since receptors for a protein called transferrin is present on the surface of many cancers, coupling green tea to transferrin gets it to cancer cells where it can work. The researchers encapsulated the green tea extract in vesicles that also carried transferrin, a plasma protein which transports iron through the blood.

Nearly two-thirds of the tumors it was delivered to either shrank or disappeared within one month and the treatment displayed no side effects to normal tissues.

The tests are thought to be the first time that this type of treatment has made cancerous tumors shrink or vanish.

In the tests, on two different types of skin cancer, including melanoma, 40% of both types of tumor vanished, while 30% of one and 20% of another shrank. A further 10% of one of the types were stabilized.

In my practice, I have long known of the benefits of green tea to the skin. When formulated in very high concentration (90 per cent), it not only prevents all the negative effects of sun exposure, but also promotes collagen production. This means that casual exposure to the sun is less likely to damage the skin if one has been applying green tea polyphenols to the skin. And wrinlkles improve with long term use. Green tea is also very good at reducing inflammation in the skin. That is why I offer green tea and resveratrol-containign preparations in my office. Drinking even copious amounts of green tea does not offer these benefits.

The research paper has been published in the journal Nanomedicine

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