Beating Cancer with Green Tea

As “Sustainable Living” necessarily includes healthful living, in addition to providing homes with net zero systems for electricity and water, and ensuring better indoor air quality, here’s some news about an ancient, proven way to stave off cancer. I’ll add comments afterwards.

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Green Tea Compound Could Hold the Key to Beating Cancer, says Compelling New Study of “EGCG”


Good News Network

21 Feb 2021


Green tea has been consumed in China for 4,000 years — and one of its compounds may hold the key to staving off cancer, according to compelling new research.

It switches on a gene called p53, which is proven to block the development of tumors.

Known as the “Guardian of the Genome” for its ability to repair DNA damage and destroy cancerous cells, p53 is classified as a tumor suppressor —and if a person inherits only one functional copy of the p53 gene from their parents, they are predisposed to the disease.

A new study published this month in Nature Communications shows that an antioxidant found in the traditional Chinese drink may increase levels of p53 and improve its efficiency, say scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Studying the direct interaction between p53 and the green tea compound, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), offers hope that a new drug might be created to mimic it.


“Mutations in p53 are found in

over 50% of human cancer,”


said the paper’s author Professor Chunyu Wang, who called it “arguably the most important protein in human cancer.”

A state of the art scanning technique called nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy showed EGCG protects the cell structure’s ‘N-terminal domain’ from degradation.

EGCG is a natural antioxidant, which means it helps to undo the near constant damage caused by oxygen metabolism. Found in abundance in green tea, EGCG is also packaged by many companies as an herbal supplement.

Wang’s team identified the specific mechanism–the beneficial interaction between EGCG and p53 – for the first time.


“When EGCG binds with p53,

the protein is not being degraded

… so the level of p53 will increase

with the direct interaction.


“That means there is more

p53 for anti-cancer function.”


When operating at full capacity, p53 activates DNA repair mechanisms and prevents the cells with damaged DNA from dividing. If DNA damage is irreparable, p53 induces the cell to destroy itself by undergoing apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

Since it is commonly switched off in human cancers, reactivating the protein could potentially provide a powerful way of treating the disease in the future. 

The findings also shed fresh light on the benefits of green tea, which has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia and heart attacks. One study of over 100,000 older Chinese people found those who drank at least three cups of green tea a week were 25 percent less likely to die over the next seven years. Curt Breneman, dean of the Rensselaer School of Science, said …


“By developing an understanding

of the molecular-level mechanisms

that control key biochemical inter-

actions linked to devastating ill-

nessses such as cancer and Alz-

heimer’s disease, Chunyu’s re-

search is laying the groundwork

for new and successful therapies.”

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While each of us has different taste preferences, my experience with the taste of green tea has been fine. It tastes great.  It’s readily available.  And given that the cost of green tea is minimal and the health benefits it provides are maximal, drinking it is a virtual no-brainer.  Comments from D …

“As Stuart said, it is a no-brainer. The research is showing two to three cups per week helps prevent destabilization of cells … and the diseases that go with it. While hot tea is a little more healthful than iced tea, because it’s fresh. Iced tea has a tendency to sit around a while longer, and the potency diminishes. Please find a way to drink those cups of tea … with the hope that you will enjoy each sip.”

(If you have difficulty finding green tea in your locality, one source I know of is “Stash Tea Company.” Here’s a link to their green tea: )

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