Monday, January 11, 2016

Potential New Cancer Treatments: A New Look At Green Tea

Are you a tea drinker? After reading this, you may consume more green tea. Each cup of tea is loaded with catechins. These are polyphenols that have been shown to assist with the prevention and treatment of various cancers. Major polyphenols in green tea include epicatechin (EC), epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin (EGC), and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Green tea also contains to a lesser amount the polyphenols kaempferol, myricitrin and quercetin. Of all the polyphenols in green tea the most abundant is EGCG. One cup of green tea will contain 300-400mg mixed polyphenols, including approximately 100-150mg EGCG.

For 5,000 years, Chinese have been drinking green tea. They also enjoy some of the lowest incidence of prostate cancer. The question becomes, could this partially be do to the green tea? The answer appears to be yes. Multiple studies have shown drinking green tea reduces the risk of cancer. When patients treat their cancer with it, green tea decreases cancer cell viability along with promoting cancer cell death. Green tea is unique. It has been found to have either antioxidant or oxidative effects pending on the health of the cell it reaches, along with anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-arteriosclerotic and anti-bacterial properties. One study found drinking 3 cups of green tea per day lowered prostate cancer risk. Another study looking at 49,920 men in Japan found drinking 5 cups of green tea per day significantly reduced the risk of advanced prostate cancer. But who really wants to drink that much tea? Could it also cause problems, and don’t forget about the caffeine.

What if there was something from green tea anyone could take to obtain the same benefits without the volume of tea, or its caffeine? Truth be known, it does exist. Researchers have long looked at the benefits of EGC and EGCG in direct relationship to cancer.

In prostate cancer they found that EGC and EGCG are effective at reducing the enzyme 5-alpha reductase process thereby inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into DHT effectively blocking it from cancer cells. This process is much like the action of the cancer drug bicalutamide and other antiandrogen cancer drugs, without the severe side effects. Then again many believe prostate cancer’s growth is fed by DHT, so reduce DHT and slow the growth. Researchers also found that EGCG retards the angiogenesis process by preventing new cancer blood vessel nutrient supply lines, essentially starving the cancer. In addition researchers discovered when EGCG is used with another component, it effectively blocks ENOX2 proteins causing interference with the cancer cell’s ability to mature and divide, effectively cutting their growth. 

And there’s still more. EGCG coming into contact with cancer cells results in the production of hydrogen peroxide. When this H(2)O(2) reacts with the increased iron stored in, and needed by, cancer cells, potent reactive oxygen species (ROS) are created such as hydroxyl radicals, creating a heightened oxidative state causing apoptotic cell destruction. 

Following this train of thought, new research from Penn State confirmed EGCG from green tea damages the mitochondria of cancer cells reducing the expression of anti-oxidant genes causing further oxidative stress leading to cancer’s demise. They also proposed that EGCG interacts with a protein, SIRT3, to facilitate the process. The truly remarkable part of this interaction between EGCG and SIRT3 is that, it’s selective in nature. EGCG turns on SIRT3 in healthy cells, and turns off SIRT3 in cancer cells. How incredible, and what a fabulous design! This unique set of interactions protects healthy cells, keeping them away from cancer, while causing cancer cells to terminate. EGCG is certainly a multi-pathway approach to treat cancer exhibiting unique healing interactions with multiple forms of cancer including breast, prostate, colon, lung, ovarian and many others.

To further show the benefits of EGCG and EGC for prostate cancer prevention, an Italian study at the University of Parma, Italy gave flavonoid concentrates to men who tested prone to the risk of prostate cancer. The men received 200mg of the concentrate 3 times per day for a year. At the end of the study only one man out of 32 receiving the green tea flavonoid capsules was diagnosed with prostate cancer, whereas in the control group not receiving the capsules, 9 out of 30 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

When you consider all these benefits, without many of the egregious side effects of artificial cancer drugs when administered properly, it certainly makes one think there could be a better way to approach healing cancer, or at least slow it down. Yet how many men and women in the general population know the cancer preventative and healing benefits of EGCG from green tea? Have you ever heard, you should drink green tea, or try EGCG, from your doctor in relation to cancer? If not officially ‘FDA Approved’ for cancer prevention and treatment, for many doctors it doesn’t exist. They simply say (without FDA Approval) there is no proof it works. For our future, and the health of our society, I believe we need to find a way to further research and integrate treatments such as this into everyday clinical practice.

In itself, EGCG may not be the cure-all for cancer, though it most likely will slow it down, and assist healing when used with existing approved cancer protocols. Considering new research suggests it operates as a pro-oxidant creating ROS in relation to cancer cells, further research may want to look at combining it with other natural oxidative treatments such as Artemisinin or marijuana.

EGCG may also lesson cancer recurrence rates by effectively reducing the small amounts of cancer cells left after surgery or radiation. Then too, there is extensive evidence suggesting EGCG plays a substantial role in cancer prevention. EGCG presents so many good opportunities to attack cancer. Still it is also important to remember throughout this discussion, everyone’s unique cancer, diet, composition, history and metabolism are different. Where some have received excellent results from EGCG, others have experienced no results directly attributed to its use for reasons yet unknown.

Aside from the already mentioned healing actions of EGCG, one unique benefit deserves further exploration. Possibly EGCG’s greatest benefit comes from its ability to tackle newly developing cancer before the cancer gets a foothold requiring more drastic treatment. And to my belief, everyone would agree the sooner a cancer is found, the easier it is to treat with better results. So how do we find cancer at its earliest stages?

To accomplish this task, I believe we should all be looking at a newly available test capable of detecting 27 different types of cancer, and there organ of origin, with a single blood draw including: Prostate, Bladder, Breast, Cervical, Colorectal, Endometrial, Esophageal, Gastric, Hepatocellular, Kidney, Leukemia, Non-Small cell, Lung Small cell, Lymphoma, Melanoma, Mesothelioma, Multiple Myeloma, Myeloma, Ovarian, Pancreatic, Sarcoma,  Squamous Cell, Thyroid, Follicular, Uterine, Papillary, Testicular Germ Cell cancers. It accomplishes this by using the ENOX2 protein as a marker, and then determining its molecular weight and isoelectric point. The test, though not infallible, claims a 99.3% reliability for determining cancer(s) with no false positives, and 96% accuracy in determining the type of, and organ site, of the cancer. Certainly better results than the standard PSA test. This ONCOblot test has been called, “the most sensitive blood test for cancer available today”. Unfortunately it can’t determine the stage of the cancer, the amount of the cancer load, or any cancer spread. It just effectively tells you if you have cancer, or not. Yet when considering whether to have a biopsy, determining if you have the real possibility of cancer beforehand is very valuable knowledge. Currently, the ONCOblot test is approved by the FDA as a ‘Laboratory Developed Test’. Unfortunately, it is not covered by insurance, as it is too new, and little known by many oncologists. It was first made available to the public January 2013.

Using this test as a follow-up to the standard PSA test that so often triggers a biopsy, could save the American public and insurance companies over $2 Billion per year by dramatically reducing the 750,000 unnecessary negative prostate biopsies. But the real benefit may come from the millions of lives it could save. You see this test can find cancer even before major symptoms appear. It detects cancer with as few as 2 million cells, unlike current mammogram scans that need 4.5 trillion cells to register. And it is at this cancer infancy stage that EGCG is most effective at eradicating cancer. Imagine if cancers were found early enough for EGCG, say in the form of CAPSOL-T® a product combining concentrated EGCG with capsicum powder, or another green tea product, to heal your cancer without surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Could it change your life, and the face of medicine today?

In a cancer prevention trail using CAPSOL-T®, 110 men and women were tested for the presence of ENOX2 using the ONCOblot process. Forty four (44) test subjects were found to have the presence of various cancers as exhibited by positive ONCOblot tests. These were then given CAPSOL-T® for periods from 3 to 17 months and continually retested for ENOX2 markers. Researchers found that forty one (41) of the cancer subjects retested no longer showed the presence of ENOX2 in their systems, indicating there very early stage cancer gone.

CAPSOL-T® is a specialized product readily available in the U.S. combining concentrated decaffeinated green tea powder in a 25:1 ratio with capsicum powder otherwise known as red pepper or chili pepper. Each 350mg CAPSOL-T® capsule has the flavonoid benefits of drinking multiple cups of green tea with only 1.65mg caffeine per capsule. It is believed the synergy of concentrated green tea with capsicum increases the bioavailability and healing qualities many times over. Capsicum by itself has been shown to block breast cancer cell migration and reduce the size of certain tumors

Those who use CAPSOL-T® are strongly recommended to take it every four (4) hours around the clock to maximize its effectiveness, along with preventing an EGCG resistance buildup. For those who want to sleep through the night without interruption, there is a time-release product available. Structured dosing allows the cancer cells to be continuously exposed, creating the best possible results. According to CAPSOL-T®, there have been no adverse effects, no liver problems, and no lawsuits associated with CAPSOL-T® use. It has also been stated that CAPSOL-T® is non-toxic at recommended concentrations due to the many other protective polyphenols in the product. The manufacturer of CAPSOL-T® confirms it is all-natural and contains only decaffeinated green tea and capsicum powder, both of which are extremely safe.

With that said, it is important to know side effects from using ‘too much’ EGCG and/or green tea could exist. If you have cancer and decide to explore EGCG or CAPSOL-T®, I suggest you only do it under a doctor’s care who is familiar with the product(s) you are using. Cases of acute liver failure, even death, have been attributed to taking too much EGCG and/or caffeine. Minor side effects can include excess intestinal gas, nausea, heartburn, stomachache, abdominal pain, dizziness, nervousness, headache, and muscle pain. More serious side effects from concentrated EGCG could include vomiting, kidney problems, and moderate to severe hepatic necrosis (liver failure). For most, these side effects disappear when EGCG supplementation is stopped. The higher the dose of EGCG, the more toxic it is to the liver, and a small percentage of people, for as yet undetermined reasons, appear to be especially susceptible to liver problems. Interesting to note, when used properly, EGCG has been suggested to prevent Hepatitis C, thus protecting the liver. 

Before beginning clinical use of EGCG, there is a discussion you need to have with your doctor, along with a complete liver panel, prior to beginning any EGCG treatment. And since side effect symptoms have occurred anywhere from 10 days to 7 months after treatment, it is appropriate to continue to have your liver checked on a regular basis.

To be wise, start by thinking of EGCG as a cancer drug, rather than a super safe supplement. Would you blindly start taking a cancer drug? In reality, considering the millions, possibly billions of people around the world using green tea and EGCG every day with relatively few if any serious side effects, EGCG is probably safer that driving your car to the corner store for a carton of milk. Then consider the newest FDA approved cancer drugs with their litany of side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, arm swelling, reduction in blood cells, high blood pressure, decreased hemoglobin, liver damage, cardiac dysfunction and arterial events, renal failure, thyroid failure, gastrointestinal perforation etc, and you realize green tea and EGCG for cancer, when treated with respect under proper supervision, can be generally considered safe having excellent healing qualities. The majority of people never experience any side effects. According to the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology between 1999 and 2008 only 34 cases of liver damage were attributed to EGCG, with one unfortunate death. By the same token, between 1999 and 2008 there were 9 deaths attributed to drinking too much water. Problems can happen. Everything you put into your mouth has an effect on your body! Be safe and work with your doctor for appropriate dosage and proper tests.

Certainly there are laboratory studies and case studies showing doses of EGCG unsafe. There is also a ‘wealth of materials and studies’ showing the remarkable benefits of EGCG with zero to minimal side effects. It is unfortunate we do not have more studies using EGCG in human trials. The limited research I have seen for CAPSOL-T® is very promising, and I have heard of no side effects regarding this product. It is also interesting that several attorneys are gathering clients for class action suits regarding EGCG and its unregulated use in weight reduction formulas. Though an excess of EGCG looks to be the culprit in this legal action, much is still unknown about EGCG’s interactions with other ingredients, the amounts of caffeine consumed, and/or pesticides and substances that may have contaminated the weight reduction product or tea. There obviously needs to be more research. 

From my research, I believe EGCG and EGC from green tea aid in the process to relieve the burden of cancer. Drinking green tea daily, as a life choice, appears to provide a strong avenue for cancer prevention. As a treatment protocol today I would only personally use EGCG as secondary to other treatments, or as a primary treatment when cancer is found in its earliest stages. Then I would look at CAPSOL-T®. When used with low-risk early stage non-aggressive prostate cancer, the benefits appear clear. We also need to make available better use of the ONCOblot test, if not for the $2 Billion cost reduction, for lives it will save.

Today EGCG is one more of our low cost, orphan cancer treatments deserving further research and eventual approval by the FDA, especially when it comes to early cancer treatment and as a supplemental treatment along side more aggressive protocols. We all deserve further research into EGCG to understand dosage over time, most effective applications, and greater product refinement. Imagine relieving a portion of the burden of cancer for pennies a day. With nearly 12 cancer deaths per minute, we must do everything possible to cure cancer now. Not just looking at exotic, outrageously expensive, new drugs. EGCG has earned its place in the list of Proven Natural Treatments Deserving Research. The time has come for us to take the next step and explore it further.

There is still more to explore in this series on Potential New Natural Cancer Treatments. Look for the new post coming soon.

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