Green tea could delay prostate cancer

Green tea could delay prostate cancer

Active compounds in green tea may slow down the progression of prostate cancer. Capsules made using green tea extracts called polyphenols lowered levels of proteins that tumours use to grow, researchers found. Made by Polyphenon Pharma, the capsules called Polyphenon E contain epigallocatechin gallate or (EGCG), a green tea extract that has antioxidant properties.

Jim Cardelli of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and colleagues tested 26 prostate cancer patients, aged from 41 to 68. Each took four Polyphenon E capsules a day—equivalent to drinking 12 cups of green tea—for about a month before they had their prostates removed.

Blood tests showed levels of three proteins associated with the growth and spread of prostate cancer fell. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) fell 18.9 percent on average, vascular endothelial growth factor or (VEGF) fell by 9.9 percent and prostate specific antigen (PSA) fell by 10.4 percent, they reported in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

HGF and VEGF are produced when tumours spread and some patients showed ‘significant’ reduction levels of more than 30 percent, Cardelli said. Few side effects were reported and liver function of the patients remained normal. “It’s still in an early stage. Green tea can keep cancer from growing very fast, but it may not be able to shrink tumours,” Cardelli said.