What You Need to Know: Green tea can change the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells. While green tea has been thought to have potential anti-cancer activity, scientists have struggled to explain how it may work to reduce cancer risk, or to slow the growth of cancer. A recent study points to EGCG (a biologic constituent of green tea), as it changes the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells by suppressing the expression of an enzyme associated with cancer (LDHA).
Details, details: Using sophisticated metabolic profiling methods, researchers found EGCG disrupts the balance of “flux” throughout the cellular metabolic network. Flux is the rate of turnover of molecules through a metabolic pathway. The researchers found EGCG disrupts this balance (as does another known LDHA inhibitor, oxalate).
My Take: This represents a new way to look at metabolism. Hopefully, we can use this increasing understanding of how cancer cell metabolism can be disrupted to try to prevent cancer, or to alter its course. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.
The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.
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Reference: Qing-Yi Lu, et al. Metabolic consequences of LDHA inhibition by epigallocatechin gallate and oxalate in MIA PaCa-2 pancreatic cancer cells. Metabolomics, 2014; DOI:10.1007/s11306-014-0672-8.