A study by Philadelphia based researchers has identified a chemical in green tea that appears to slow the progression of prostate cancer. The compound – known as Polyphenon E – was given to a selection of patients who had already been diagnosed with prostate cancer and who were scheduled for radical prostate surgery.

Using a dose of four capsules a day – roughly equivalent to 12 cups of green tea – the patients were treated for an average of 34 days, up until the day of their surgery.

Tea plants
Afterwards, the research team – led by Dr James Cardelli, from the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center - checked for a number of biomarkers - molecules - including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and prostate specific antigen (PSA) - a protein only found in the prostate, all of which are indicators of developing prostrate cancer.

The results of the study showed a significant reduction in levels of HGF, VEGF and PSA, with some patients demonstrating reductions of more than 30%. In addition, there were only a few reported side effects associated with this study, and liver function remained normal.
.Dr James Cardelli had this to say on the matter.

“….Polyphenon E may have the potential to lower the incidence and slow the progression of prostate cancer. We think that the use of tea polyphenols alone or in combination with other compounds currently used for cancer therapy should be explored as an approach to prevent cancer progression and recurrence. There is reasonably good evidence that many cancers are preventable, and our studies using plant-derived substances support the idea that plant compounds found in a healthy diet can play a role in preventing cancer development and progression…"

Green tea has been linked to a positive effect on a wide range of conditions, including heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

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