Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Green Tea’s Cancer-fighting Allure Becomes More Potent

Date:
August 5, 2003
Source:
University Of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Green tea's ability to fight cancer is even more potent and varied than scientists suspected, say researchers who have discovered that chemicals in green tea shut down one of the key molecules that tobacco relies upon to cause cancer. It's a find that could help explain why people who drink green tea are less likely to develop cancer.

Green tea's ability to fight cancer is even more potent and varied than scientists suspected, say researchers who have discovered that chemicals in green tea shut down one of the key molecules that tobacco relies upon to cause cancer. It's a find that could help explain why people who drink green tea are less likely to develop cancer. The finding by scientists at the University of Rochester's Environmental Health Science Center appears in the July 21 issue of Chemical Research in Toxicology, published by the American Chemical Society.

Graduate student Christine Palermo and adviser Thomas Gasiewicz, Ph.D., set out to measure the effects of the chemicals found in green tea on a molecule known as the aryl hydrocarbon (AH) receptor, a molecule that frequently plays a role in turning on genes that are oftentimes harmful. Gasiewicz has previously shown how both tobacco smoke and dioxin manipulate the molecule – a favorite target of toxic substances – to cause havoc within the body.

The team isolated the chemicals that make up green tea and found two that inhibit AH activity. The two substances, epigallocatechingallate (EGCG) and epigallocatechin (EGC), are close molecular cousins to other flavonoids found in broccoli, cabbage, grapes and red wine that are known to help prevent cancer.

While green tea has been much-ballyhooed for its anti-cancer effects as well as other purported abilities such as preventing rheumatoid arthritis and lowering cholesterol, just how the substance works has been a mystery. Scientists do know that green tea contains chemicals that are anti-oxidants and quench harmful molecules. But its effects on the AH receptor have not been thoroughly evaluated until now.

"It's likely that the compounds in green tea act through many different pathways," says Gasiewicz, professor and chair of Environmental Medicine and director of Rochester's Environmental Health Science Center. "Green tea may work differently than we thought to exert its anti-cancer activity."

Gasiewicz and Palermo showed that the chemicals shut down the AH receptor in cancerous mouse cells, and early results indicate the same is true in human cells as well.

In the laboratory the AH-inhibiting effects of green tea become evident when EGCG and EGC reach levels typical of those found in a cup of green tea. But the scientists say that how green tea is metabolized by the body is crucial to its effectiveness, and that results in the laboratory don't necessarily translate directly to the dinner table.

"Right now we don't know if drinking the amount of green tea that a person normally drinks would make a difference, but the work is giving us insight into how the proteins work," says Palermo, who enjoys cold green tea herself. "There are a lot of differences between various kinds of green tea, so a lot more research is needed."

For this work Palermo received the award for best poster in the chemical carcinogenesis specialty section at the meeting of the Society of Toxicology in March. Now she is studying exactly how green tea inhibits the AH receptor. After she graduates Palermo plans to study links between environmental agents and childhood leukemia.

In addition to Palermo and Gasiewicz, other authors are former post-doctoral associate Jose Martin Hernando and chemist Andrew Kende, who teased apart the components of green tea extract; and Stephen Dertinger, a former student who first had the idea to test green tea's effects on the AH receptor. The work was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the American Institute for Cancer Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Rochester Medical Center. "Green Tea’s Cancer-fighting Allure Becomes More Potent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030805072109.htm>.
University Of Rochester Medical Center. (2003, August 5). Green Tea’s Cancer-fighting Allure Becomes More Potent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030805072109.htm
University Of Rochester Medical Center. "Green Tea’s Cancer-fighting Allure Becomes More Potent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030805072109.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins