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Green tea may prevent prostate cancer

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  Drinking green tea regularly may help prevent prostate cancer, according to a new study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

  The study, led by Jim Cardelli of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, showed that prostate cancer patients who took four capsules of green tea extract had reduced levels of three proteins that promote tumor growth.

  In the study, the researchers tested green tea extract capsules made by made by Polyphenol Pharma in 26 prostate cancer patients aged between 41 and 68. The capsules were given to patients one month before surgery.

  Results showed that taking four capsules of epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, the amount found in about 12 cups of green tea, reduced the amount of hepatocyte growth factor or HGF by 18.9 percent. Vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF was reduced by 9.9 percent and prostate specific antigen PSA by 10.4 percent.

  Some prostate cancer patients experienced a reduction of more than 30 percent in HGF and VEGF.

  Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer that is commonly found in Western cultures. The National Cancer Institute estimated that 192,280 new cases of the cancer will be diagnosed in 2009 and 27,360 men will die from the disease.

  Butt M.S. and Sultan M.T. from the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, reported in the May 2009 issue of Critical Review of Food Science and Nutrition that "Much of the cancer chemo-preventive properties of green tea are mediated by EGCG that induces apoptosis and promotes cell growth arrest, by altering the expression of cell cycle regulatory proteins, activating killer caspases, and suppressing nuclear factor kappa-B activation."

(David Liu and edited by Sheilah Downey) 

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