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Could Green Tea Kill Oral Cancer?

Matcha matcha matcha. It seems to be all the hype these days. Matcha latte. Iced vanilla matcha. It's delicious, it's colorful, and it's become especially popular because of its purported health benefits. But did you know that green tea may also fight against oral cancer cells?

cancer, green tea, oral cancer

A compound known as epiogallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) may kill oral cancer cells without harming non-cancerous healthy cells. Research conducted at Penn State indicates that EGCG may trigger the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cancer cells resulting in the formation of even more reactive oxygen species, damaging the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria, and lowering the cell's defense mechanisms. By contrast, according to the study, EGCG actually increased the normal cell's defense mechanisms.

What did the research involve?

The researches compared normal human oral cells to human oral cancer cells by growing both cell types on a medium with EGCG. Specifically, they studied a protein known as sirtuin 3, SIRT3, which plays a crucial role in turning on and off the anti-oxidant properties in many human cells.

So what does this all mean?

Of course further research needs to be performed, but this is exciting news in the cancer research world. Will anti-cancer treatments contain green tea extracts in the future? What do you think?

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