A new study shows that green tea might prevent the spread of breast and prostate cancer. Doctors have been able to identify, at a cellular level, chemicals in green tea called polyphenols, which appear to inhibit two proteins that promote tumor cell growth and migration: the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF).
This finding, based on an ongoing study of 40 women with a type of breast cancer that doesn’t respond to hormone therapy, was presented at the 11th Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research in Anaheim, CA. The participants were given green tea extract known commercially as Polyphenon E, which contains several green tea polyphenols. Women receiving green tea extract had significantly lower levels of the tumor growth factors at two months into the treatment.
In addition, another study on prostate cancer had participants drink lots of brewed green tea, not the extract. This study from the UCLA School of Medicine involved 67 men about to undergo a prostatectomy, the removal of an enlarged or cancerous prostate. The participants who drank the green tea had significantly lower levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA); elevated PSA is associated with prostate tumor growth.