Drinking green tea has been known to have many benefits. But recent research may indicate that it can also help fight cancer. A new study indicates that a component in green tea may help reduce the risk or slow the progress of cancer. The findings were reported in the journal Metabolomics.
Previous studies have indicated that green tea has good cancer-fighting properties. But scientists have not yet understood how. A team of researchers from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute have identified a component of green tea extracts that fights off cancer cells. By using modern metabolic profiling techniques, the LA-BioMed researchers, headed by Dr. Wai-Nang Lee, found out that a compound called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG disrupts the metabolism of cancer cells, limiting their progress. EGCG does this by suppressing the expression of lactate dehydrogenase A or LDHA, a key enzyme in the metabolism of cancer cells. This affects their way of extracting and using energy that lets the cancer cells multiply and grow.
The researchers found that EGCG disrupts the rate of molecule turnover through a metabolic pathway in pancreatic cancer cells. It works the same way as oxamate, also a known LDHA inhibitor. Both compounds reduce the risk of cancer by suppressing LDHA activity.
Dr. Lee said, “By explaining how green tea’s active component could prevent cancer, this study will open the door to a whole new area of cancer research and help us understand how other foods can prevent cancer or slow the growth of cancerous cells.”
The discovery also gives cancer researchers a different view about metabolism. “It is no longer a case of glucose goes in and energy comes out. Now we understand how cancer cell metabolism can be disrupted, and we can examine how we can use this knowledge to try to alter the course of cancer or prevent cancer,” Dr. Lee further added.
Source: Medical News Today