Another Reason to Have a Cuppa

In recent years, several studies have suggested that green tea has certain anti-cancer properties. The tea contains high amounts of the antioxidant EGCG, which protects cells in the body, but research has been limited, and the exact nature of the anti-cancer mechanism in green tea and EGCG has yet to be understood.

Now a new study from the University of Mississippi confirms that consuming EGCG significantly inhibits the growth of breast tumors in female mice. The aptly titled study, Oral Administration of EGCG, an Antioxidant Found in Green Tea, Inhibits Tumor Angiogenesis and Growth of Breast Cancer in Female Mice, will be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Physiological Society.

In the experiment, seven-week-old female mice were given EGCG in drinking water for five weeks, while a control group drank regular water. The mice were then injected with breast cancer cells.

After five weeks, the mice who were consuming EGCG showed decreases in tumor weight and other cancer data. Leading senior researcher Dr. Jian-Wei Gu speculated that EGCG's cancer-limiting properties are tied to the antioxidant's ability to target both tumor blood vessels and tumor cells of breast cancer, suppressing the spread of breast cancer cells.

"In this study we have demonstrated that the frequent ingestion of EGCG significantly inhibits breast tumor growth," Gu said. "We believe our findings will help lead to new therapies for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer in women."

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