Taking high doses of green tea extract may help protect against development of oral cancer, according to new research from the University of Texas.
In this study, researchers gave 41 volunteers with pre-cancerous mouth lesions green tea extract for three months at doses of 500 milligrams per meter squared (mg/m2), 750 mg/m2 or 1,000 mg/m2. The extract was taken by mouth. Other participants took a placebo.
The highest dose of green tea extract would be the equivalent of drinking eight to 10 cups of green tea every single day
During the 28-month follow-up, 15 people developed oral cancer. People who took the green tea extract and those who didn't were equally likely to develop the cancer.
However, people who had mild to moderate dysplasia (abnormal cell growth) at the start of the study took longer to develop oral cancer if they took the green tea extract.
Among those receiving the green tea extract, people taking the highest dose of the green tea extract showed a 59 percent decline in cancer progression, compared with an 18 percent decline in those who took a placebo.
Green tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols which are thought to improve health. The most abundant polyphenol which is concentrated in green tea extract is a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Previous studies have found a 50 percent reduction in tumor cell growth in people who drink green tea regularly.The findings were released online in advance of publication in the November 2009 issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research
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