Green tea and
(Camellia sinensis and Curcuma longa)
Herbal combination therapy packs a potential one-two punch
against oral cancer
A major constituent in
green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG) and one from turmeric
(curcumin) were examined for their ability to prevent the development
of oral cancer in this in vitro study. Both compounds, particularly
the green tea constituent, have been shown to have anticarcinogenic
properties, along with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities
in some studies. Cultures of normal, premalignant and malignant
oral epithelial cells were treated with EGCG and curcumin, both
of which demonstrated the ability to inhibit cancer cell growth
in all cell lines tested. Degree of growth inhibition depended on
the particular cell line and the inhibitory agent used, and each
agent appeared to block growth at different stages of the cell cycle
(EGCG blocked cells in the G1 phase, while curcumin blocked cells
in the S/G2M phases). Synergistic activities were noted when both
agents were used, resulting in a dose-dependent cell growth inhibition.
Using the two agents in combination permitted the dosage of each
to be reduced.
Khafif A, Schantz S, Chou
T, et al. Quantitation of chemopreventive synergism between epigallocatechin-3-gallate
and curcumin in normal, premalignant and malignant human oral epithelial
cells. Carcinogenesis 1998; 19(3):419-424.
© 2003 by Herb Research Foundation,
Boulder, CO, USA.