Inhibit Prostate Cancer With Green Tea Scientists have figured out the mechanism by which the polyphenols found in both red wine and green tea, slow the progression of cancer. This is considered a major advance for prostate cancer treatment. The discovery was written up in the online FASEB Journal.
The article on the study details the way in which the antioxidants contained in green tea and wine combine to interrupt a pathway used for cell signaling in prostate cancer growth. This new finding will help experts to create drugs that can mimic this effect to slow or block cancer progression. The discovery may also lead to improvements in current prostate cancer treatments.
A Panacea? The cell signaling pathway described in the study is known as SphK1/S1P and the author of the FASEB Journal article states that the pathway not only plays a role in prostate cancer, but in other cancers as well, including gastric, breast, and colon cancers. While the scientists caution that we may yet discover that drinking green tea and red wine are not quite the panacea we’d hoped; it’s clear that we now know that the compounds they contain disrupt the pathway and this may lead to developing drugs that can do the same thing.
The research involved in vitro experiments in which it was demonstrated that the SphK1/S1P (sphingosine kinase-1/sphingosine 1-phosphate) pathway was necessary for the polyphenols in green tea and red wine to kill the prostate cancer cells. The next step involved mice that were genetically altered so as to grow a human prostate cancer tumor. Some of the mice were treated with the wine or green tea polyphenols, while others were not treated, to serve as a control group. The tumor growth of the treated mice was reduced in response to inhibiting the SphK1/S1P pathway.
A second experiment meant to imitate the inhibiting effects of these polyphenols involved three groups of mice. One group was given plain drinking water, a second group was given drinking water containing EGCg, a green tea compound, and the third group was given drinking water that contained a different compound found in green tea known as polyphenon E.
Positive Effect The scientists implanted human prostate cancer cells into the various groups of mice. Those mice that drank water containing EGCg or polyphenon E showed a dramatic reduction in tumor size. The authors of the study believe that green tea and red wine rank way up there in terms of their ability to have such a strong and positive effect on our bodies.