Green Tea and Chemotherapy
Research over the last 20 years has shown that green tea contains an anti-cancer agent epi-gallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and I have written several articles on these anti-cancer properties in past newsletters.
A research paper recently published in the journal ‘Blood’ has stated that in test tube experiments ECGC inactivates the chemotherapy drug bortezomib. ECGC also blocked the chemotherapy effects of bortezomib on tumours in mice. The concentrations of ECGC used in these experiments were the equivalent of a human drinking 10 cups of green tea per day. Note: it is possible to get high concentration capsules of Green Tea extract.
Consequently we would advise patients to avoid green tea while on chemotherapy but to return to drinking it when that treatment is ended.
There are many other well researched natural anti-cancer agents in our food as well as thousands of other chemicals with the potential of blocking the action of drugs (each food is made up of numerous different chemicals). A sensible policy would be to have a wide variety of foods during chemotherapy so that no one chemical is taken in large quantities.
Colin Sutherland (April 2009)