Cancer, Interrupted: Green Tea

Cancer, Interrupted: Green Tea
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Using the cooked meat carcinogen PhIP to turn normal breast cells cancerous, researchers explore the use of green tea to interrupt this malignant transformation.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

More than 85% of breast cancers are sporadic, and attributable to long-term exposure to environmental carcinogens—such as those in the diet—through a multistep disease process progressing from non-cancerous to premalignant and malignant stages.

Now, we know that the chemical carcinogen, PhIP, is one of the most abundant heterocyclic amines found in high-temperature cooked meats, and is recognized as a breast carcinogen. However, the PhIP’s mechanism of action in breast cell carcinogenesis is not completely clear. How does it do it? Well, in this landmark new study they “demonstrated, for the first time, that cumulative exposures to PhIP” at the kind of concentrations one would expect just eating meat “effectively induced progressive carcinogenesis”—cancer transformation of normal “human breast…cells from a non-cancerous stage to premalignant and malignant stages in a dose- and exposure-dependent manner.”

They started out with normal human breast cells, and were able to transmute them completely into cancer cells just using that cooked meat carcinogen found predominantly in fried bacon, fish, and chicken. That’s all it took, and Jekyll becomes Hyde.

Now, PhIP was already established as a carcinogen. The reason they did this study was to develop a model of human breast cancer “carcinogenesis”—from beginning to end—so they could test various interventions to see if they could somehow stop this process of cancer formation.

For example, three recent meta-analyses reviewing all the epidemiological, or population-based, evidence concerning green tea consumption and breast cancer risk to date concluded that green tea consumption may be protective.

Okay, let’s put the plant to the test. Here’s how normal human breast cells rate against six different measures of cancer potential. Add some green tea to them, and nothing much happens. Add repeated exposure to the cooked meat carcinogen, PhIP, though, and all the cancer indicators go up. Okay, here’s the test. What happens if you now add the meat carcinogen with green tea phytonutrients? The transformation to breast cancer is blunted across the board, almost bringing cancer markers back to normal. Using a variety of measures, green tea phytonutrients were capable of suppressing PhIP-induced cellular cancer and tumor progression.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to たね via Wikimedia, and Annie Cavanagh via Wellcome Images

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

More than 85% of breast cancers are sporadic, and attributable to long-term exposure to environmental carcinogens—such as those in the diet—through a multistep disease process progressing from non-cancerous to premalignant and malignant stages.

Now, we know that the chemical carcinogen, PhIP, is one of the most abundant heterocyclic amines found in high-temperature cooked meats, and is recognized as a breast carcinogen. However, the PhIP’s mechanism of action in breast cell carcinogenesis is not completely clear. How does it do it? Well, in this landmark new study they “demonstrated, for the first time, that cumulative exposures to PhIP” at the kind of concentrations one would expect just eating meat “effectively induced progressive carcinogenesis”—cancer transformation of normal “human breast…cells from a non-cancerous stage to premalignant and malignant stages in a dose- and exposure-dependent manner.”

They started out with normal human breast cells, and were able to transmute them completely into cancer cells just using that cooked meat carcinogen found predominantly in fried bacon, fish, and chicken. That’s all it took, and Jekyll becomes Hyde.

Now, PhIP was already established as a carcinogen. The reason they did this study was to develop a model of human breast cancer “carcinogenesis”—from beginning to end—so they could test various interventions to see if they could somehow stop this process of cancer formation.

For example, three recent meta-analyses reviewing all the epidemiological, or population-based, evidence concerning green tea consumption and breast cancer risk to date concluded that green tea consumption may be protective.

Okay, let’s put the plant to the test. Here’s how normal human breast cells rate against six different measures of cancer potential. Add some green tea to them, and nothing much happens. Add repeated exposure to the cooked meat carcinogen, PhIP, though, and all the cancer indicators go up. Okay, here’s the test. What happens if you now add the meat carcinogen with green tea phytonutrients? The transformation to breast cancer is blunted across the board, almost bringing cancer markers back to normal. Using a variety of measures, green tea phytonutrients were capable of suppressing PhIP-induced cellular cancer and tumor progression.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to たね via Wikimedia, and Annie Cavanagh via Wellcome Images

Doctor's Note

What is this PhIP stuff? See four previous videos for some background:

Any other feats that green tea can pull off? See Treating Genital Warts with Green Tea, and Treating Gorlin Syndrome with Green Tea.

Might white tea work even better? See Antimutagenic Activity of Green vs. White Tea.

Any other plants that might be able to smack on the cancer kibosh? (I mean besides broccoli; so, for example: DNA Protection from Broccoli, and Broccoli vs. Breast Cancer Stem Cells). Stay tuned for my next video, Cancer, Interrupted: Garlic & Flavonoids.

Also check out my associated blog post for more context: Foods that May Block Cancer Formation.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

PS: Those of you with mobile devices will have noticed immediately the major upgrade to NutritionFacts.org yesterday. The entire site was redesigned to incorporate “responsive web design.” This means that NutritionFacts.org will now automatically resize to fit whatever device you’re on. There are now close to 50 million people in the U.S. alone that watch videos on their mobile devices. Sure, we could make a special iPhone app, an iPad app, an Android app—but, there are now thousands of smartphones and tablets out there. Enter: responsive web design. NutritionFacts.org now automatically resizes to fit your screen—any screen! Try resizing your browser right now. See? Isn’t that cool?! Thanks go to our resident web designer genius, Christi Richards, and the generous support of The Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation, without which NutritionFacts.org wouldn’t even exist.

39 responses to “Cancer, Interrupted: Green Tea

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    1. Click on Green Tea in the list to the left of this page. it will take you here http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/green-tea/

      about 10 cups per day is probably the safe upper limit. Cold brewing is best. If you are antioxidant-low to start, as I was, you’ll start feeling improvement in general after 3 days. Break the good habit, as I did, and general decrease in “tone” returns.

      Good luck!




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  1. As part of my holistic only protocol for dealing with two cancerous tumors in my right breast, which I’ve ungrown to almost nothing and document in my book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, I drank a large mug of ORGANIC green tea three (3) times a day. I would steep loose tea; I did not brew it in a tea bag. If you buy organic green tea in a tea bag, cut open the bag and place the tea into a stainless steel diffuser and brew it that way.
    Green tea enhances by eight times the effectiveness of curcumin (turmeric) and curcumin enhances green tea’s effectiveness by three times. There’s a lot to be said for green tea in managing cancer, I say and have experienced.




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  2. “Thanks go to our resident web designer genius Christi Richards and the generous support of The Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation, without which NutritionFacts.org wouldn’t even exist.”
    Absolutely, thanks to all who support your great resource! A great service to public health!




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  3. I’d like to say “Thank You” to The Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation for making these video’s possible.

    I wonder how many people are in this community? What if we all donated $10.00 would that be enough to return to daily video’s?

    Maybe the funding for this site needs to be 3 legged: Dr Greger, Rasch Foundation and the Community members that benefit from the video’s.

    With Gratitude to all involved in this community.<;-)




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      1. Did it, done! I’d also like to thank the Rausch Foundation, along with those who contribute money and/or time, including those such as Jonathan Hodgson who make the transcripts of the videos available to those of us without a broadband connection. Much appreciated!




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  4. Thank you for this reminder…

    I am a breast cancer
    alumni… eleven years clean and healthy. I choose to have a lumpectomy
    a lymph-biopsy, both confirming the presence of cancer. I have been
    devoted to healthy diet, exercise, emotional balance, etc. for decades

    and was shocked when diagnosed. Upon reflection, I attributed the
    occurrence to DDT exposure in South and Central America as a child and
    to the fact that I allowed myself to be talked into bio-identical HRT
    two years before I discovered a lump in my breast, aggravated by stress.
    (Many years living in Los Angeles probably didn’t help.) I choose to
    treat myself (under the excellent guidance of Susun Weed’s book, Breast
    Cancer, BREAST HEALTH) with teas and even better diet choices. No chemo,
    no radiation, no tamoxifen, etc. IT IS POSSIBLE. I did not relish the
    thought of living in a body ravished by chemicals. I am now 65, clean
    and healthy, active, still working as a successful artist and health
    care practitioner. It takes much courage to resist the intense pressure
    of the medical community and go one’s own way, I am so glad I did and
    enjoy sharing my success story. Please feel free to pass this on to
    whomever might benefit. Thanks again for your most
    excellent and informative blog! Blessings to you and yours, Sincerely, Danielle Kennedy




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  5. Dr. Greger: given that hibiscus tea is so much more potent than green tea (per your ‘Better than Green Tea?’ video), are there reasons to believe that hibiscus tea would have similar or greater anti-cancer effects as those shown in this video? Thank you.




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  6. Well, since there is no ‘general mailbox’ in which to ask ‘related’ questions…

    Any comments regarding the enhanced anti-oxidant effectiveness of catechins as a result of adding fruit juice (vitC):

    “Common Tea Formulations Modulate In Vitro Digestive Recovery of Green Tea Catechins” by Mario Ferruzzi, et al.

    Also, of the results from Nam Dang, M.D., Ph.D., University of Florida researcher regarding the anti-cancer characteristics of papaya leaf/bark tea…

    Thanks




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  7. Will it work with white tea too? in an earlier video Dr. Michael mentioned that has more antioxidants than green tea.

    Thank you for all your work, greets from Mexico city




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  8. Green tea is loaded with fluoride, it absorbs it more than almost anything. And regular black tea. Holy Basil is full of healing benefits WITHOUT the toxins. I will not drink green tea as I value my kidneys, brain and neurological function.




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  9. Hi Dr. Greger

    Thank you for the great videos. I have a question. My friend is starting chemotherapy for colon cancer. I can not figure out if green tea is ok for her to drink during chemotherapy. Some articles say its ok and some say it is not ok. For example this article says not ok http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2009/02/green_tea_setback.html and this article from Dr. Block http://lifeovercancerblog.typepad.com/life-over-cancer-blog/2013/11/antioxidants-as-pro-oxidants-.html it says it is ok.
    Please help us figure out if it is ok or not ok. Thank you




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  10. Dear Dr. Gregor, what nutrients do you recommend to counteract the side effects of aromatase inhibitors, and is there any diet which could eliminate the need for them at all?




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  11. The sources cited here are the ones that keep coming up when people cite an anti-cancer benefit for green tea. But I’ve seen other doctors report that the effects are different on a European or European-American population than on Asian populations (those studies were on its effects in Asian women), and that for most American women, green tea actually enhances estrogen production and leads to higher incidence of estrogen-driven cancers. Could you please follow up with a piece on that?




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  12. Does Green tea increase wrist or overall frame size? i.e biacromialshoulders width of the bones, elbow etc?
    Please answer, this is very important, i will consider to stop consuming green tea in case it promote bones growth, because my body frame size is big already, and i really don’t like the idea to growth wider ! (wider by bones i mean)




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    1. Hi Jennifer,
      The study cited in this video was specifically showing how green tea reversed the growth of PHIP induced cancer. I don’t think Dr G meant to imply that you should eat meat in order to realize the benefit of the green tea.




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    1. The benefits are nearly the same and apparently the decaffeination process is not as damaging as I had read in the past regarding decaffeinating coffee. Since there is so much more caffeine in coffee the process relies on a fair amount of chemicals that can remain afterward. Here is a website that compares regular green tea to the decaf version. https://www.verywell.com/decaf-green-tea-2506112




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