Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Scientific Studies: Green Tea as a Detoxifier

Green tea prevents cancer, according to researchers from the University of Arizona who state that green tea consumption has been associated with decreased risk of certain types of cancers in humans.  Chow et al set out to determine the biochemical mechanisms responsible for the cancer-preventive effect of green tea in a clinical study, and more specifically, to determine the effect of repeated green tea polyphenol administration on a major group of detoxification enzymes  known as glutathione S-transferases (GST).
A group of 42 healthy volunteers underwent 4 weeks of green tea polyphenol intervention.  A standardized Polyphenon E preparation was taken each day at a dose that contains 800 mg epigallocatechin gallate. The GST activity in blood lymphocytes from was enhanced, providing beneficial detoxifying enzymes to the subjects. Further, the enhancement was statistically significant.  

Chow and colleagues concluded that 4 weeks of Polyphenon E had differential effects on GST activity.  The level increased significantly in individuals with low baseline enzyme activity/level.  This could hold some promise, not only for healthy subjects, but also for multiple chemical sensitivity MCS patients for the purpose of increasing glutathione for purposes of detoxification and body burden reduction.  As many MCS patients and practitioners are searching for ways to increase glutathione, this finding may prove useful in therapy.
It is already known that green tea is an antioxidant and that it helps protect against cancer, and now it has been shown to increase the production of glutathione S-transferases, which are detoxifiers.  Perhaps a cup of green tea a day is just what the doctor ordered!

Chow HH, Hakim IA, Vining DR, Crowell JA, Tome ME, Ranger-Moore J, Cordova CA, Mikhael DM, Briehl MM, Alberts DS.  Modulation of human glutathione s-transferases by polyphenon e intervention.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Aug;16(8):1662-6.

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