Green tea may help fight lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths in both women and men throughout the world, shows a recent study.
Qing-Yi Lu, PhD, of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and other researchers exposed a sample of human lung cancer cells to a decaffeinated green tea extract, reported the online edition of health magazine "WebMD".
The lung cancer cells marinated in the green tea extract for up to three days. The extract remodelled a certain protein in the cells. As a result, they became more likely to stick together and less likely to move, the study found.
Antioxidants in green tea may have tweaked the cancer cell protein, but it's not clear whether one antioxidant deserves all the credit or whether several antioxidants worked together, the researchers note in the study, which appeared online in the journal "Laboratory Investigation".
The study doesn't prove that drinking green tea curbs lung cancer in people. However, it may be possible to make new lung cancer drugs based on green tea extract, Lu's team suggests.
Such drugs would target the lung cancer protein remodelled by the green tea extract in the lab tests.
Those who consume green tea on an average of 1.2 litres a day get several health benefits, a previous study by the Yale School of Medicine had indicated. The study by Bauer Sumpio and other researchers had found that tea can also improve gastrointestinal functions, alcohol metabolism, kidney, liver and pancreatic functions, protect the skin and eyes and alleviate arthritis.
Tea has been used in the past in managing and preventing allergies, diabetes, bacterial and viral infections, cavities and reduce or cure inflammatory diseases.