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Green tea “can fight leukaemia”


The health-giving anti-oxident benefits of green tea may be a life-saver for leukaemia patients, according to a report published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester has found that high doses of tea supplement reduce the size of swollen lymph glands by half.

Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) received doses of green tea extract known as Polyphenon E. All experienced a lowering by one third of the lymphocyte count, which indicates cancer regression.

The supplement’s primary active ingredient is the chemical epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). While this has been found to combat cancer in the lab, there has been conflicting evidence from studies of its effects on patients.

The Mayo’s Dr Tait Shanafelt said: “We found not only that patients tolerated the green tea extract at very high doses, but that many of them saw regression to some degree of their chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

Epigallocatechin gallate

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