Green Tea Shows The Path To Fighting Cancer

Discussion of the wellness benefits of antioxidants remains a hot topic in cancer literature. Already known to have unique wellbeing qualities, the curative qualities of antioxidants are frequently cited, but only imperfectly understood. However, a significant advance in this situation now shows us why the antioxidants in beverages such as green tea and red wine can act against the progress of cancer.

The cancer-fighting properties of green tea and red wine are attributed to polyphenols, chief of which are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and resveratrol, respectively. The reason for their effectiveness in fighting cancer growth has now been discovered. The answer lies in the signaling pathway sphingosine kinase-1/sphingosine 1-phosphate (SphK1/S1P), which plays a key role in the development of prostate cancer, among others. Researchers showed that polyphenols act by inhibiting this pathway in order to kill prostate cancer cells. The result showed up under an experiment on genetically altered mice that had developed a human form of prostate cancer. Tumour growth was shown to be slowed by blocking the SphK1/S1P pathway.

Three groups of the genetically altered mice also underwent a comparative study looking at the effects of plain water, water containing the polyphenol EGCG, and water containing another green tea compound. As expected, the mice receiving the compound EGCG showed a significantly slowed rate of tumour growth.

At a time when many people are questioning the effects of resveratrol on cancer, this evidence in favour of the similar antioxidant, EGCG can restore a lot of faith in the dietary component of cancer treatment. The value of the discovery of the SphK1/S1P pathway should also not be underestimated. It provides a valuable new direction for scientific research aimed at finding methods of blocking cancer growth. The way that natural antioxidants have used this pathway to beneficial effects shows the way to utilising this method for further medical research.

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