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Green tea kills oral cancer cells

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The good news about green tea just keeps coming. This week researchers have discovered that a compound in the tea kills oral cancer cells, while leaving healthy ones alone.

The compound-EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate)-seems to trigger cell death in the cancer cells, and yet doesn’t do the same to healthy ones. It also seems to be smarter than chemotherapy drugs, say researchers from Penn State Centre, who have been testing the compound on cancer and healthy cells in the laboratory.

“The problem with a lot of chemotherapy drugs-especially early chemotherapy drugs-is that they really just target rapidly dividing cells. Cancer divides rapidly, but so do cells in your hair follicles and cells in your intestines, so you have a lot of side effects. But you don’t see these sorts of side effects with green tea consumption,” said Joshua Lambert, lead researcher.

(Source: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2014; doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201400485)

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