Ark-La-Tex In Depth: Answer to Cancer?
Medical experts have long suspected the health benefits of green tea.
Now a new study, led by a professor at LSU Health Shreveport, seems to show that the chemicals in green tea may help prevent certain types of cancer.
"It had some very interesting affects on some of the cancer cells we were looking at and it became a whole new project unto the lab," explains Dr. James Cardelli, Director of Innovative North Louisiana Experimental Therapeutics, or INLET.
Cardelli says his team's study consisted of 26 men with prostate cancer.
"Green tea had an amazing affect on slowing invasion and slowing metastasis in some of our models."
Metastasis is the spread of cancer to other parts of the body, and is usually what ends up killing a person. But researchers found that the chemical compounds in green tea seem to slow down that process.
"Tumor cells respond to their environment via signaling cascades that allows them to move and invade and this t-catican seems to prevent that in a very substantial way."
But before you run out and stock up on boxes of green tea, Cardelli says you'd have to drink 15 cups of strong tea every day to receive the same dose as those in the study. Still, he says, the results are promising.
"So what we're trying to do is come up with a better way of delivering that. Instead of drinking 15 cups of tea, actually have a formulation that people can take to use these agents more as a mode of prevention."
Cardelli says his team is even working to use green tea beyond just prevention of cancer.
"In addition to some more traditional and even more unconventional therapies, combining that to actually slow progession of cancer in patients who have cancer."
Even though the study consisted only of men with prostate cancer, Cardelli says he's confident the positive effects of the green tea supplements will carry over into other types of cancer also.
Despite the encouraging findings, Cardelli says the bottom line is for people to realize they often control much of what ails them, including cancer.
He says putting down the cigarettes, making sustainable changes to your diet, and getting off the couch, all go a long way toward preventing the diseases his team studies every day.
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