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Green tea and turmeric
(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.

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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.

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