Tea Mail – May 2004

The Big Health News in April
We first reported on March 31st that the Mayo Clinic had discovered that a component in green tea helps kill leukemia cells, and this was still the most widely-reported news story of April. The research using laboratory cell cultures shows that a component of green tea known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) helps kill leukemia cells by interrupting the communication signals they need to survive. The Mayo Clinic study, led by Neil E. Kay, M.D., shows that green tea’s EGCG interrupted survival signals, prompting leukemia cells to die in eight of 10 patient samples tested in the laboratory.

But there was more good news for tea drinkers – the newest findings on prostate cancer were presented at the annual Experimental Biology 2004 meeting in Washington. Researchers reported that they recruited 20 men being treated for prostate cancer. They were randomly assigned to drink five cups of green tea, black tea, or soda each day before surgery to remove the tumor and prostate. Their blood was analyzed before the study for levels of phenols — an antioxidant that may have antitumor effects. After their surgery, the men’s blood was analyzed again — as was their prostate tissue.

Those drinking the most tea had the most tea phenols in their prostate tissue samples. They also had lower levels of polyamines, a chemical associated with malignancy (cancer cells). In a laboratory experiment, the men’s tissue samples were exposed to black tea, green tea, or soda in a petri dish. Cancer cell growth was significantly slower with both black and green tea.

Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 27 April 2004
Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. The health effects of polyphenols depend on the amount consumed and on their bioavailability. In this article, the nature and contents of the various polyphenols present in food sources and the influence of agricultural practices and industrial processes are reviewed.

Over the past 10 y, researchers and food manufacturers have become increasingly interested in polyphenols. The chief reason for this interest is the recognition of the antioxidant properties of polyphenols, their great abundance in our diet, and their probable role in the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress, such as cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.

The many analytic studies of polyphenols in foods that have been conducted to date provide a good indication of polyphenol distribution. Fruit and beverages such as tea, red wine, and coffee constitute the principal sources of polyphenols, but vegetables, leguminous plants, and cereals are also good sources. Polyphenol concentrations in foods vary according to numerous genetic, environmental, and technologic factors, some of which may be controlled to optimize the polyphenol content of foods. The main tasks ahead are identifying the plant varieties that are the richest in the polyphenols of interest, improving growing methods, and limiting losses during the course of industrial processing and domestic cooking.

More…

Tea Slows Prostate Cancer
WebMD Health, 20 April 2004

Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson, MD – Green tea, black tea, seems it doesn’t matter. Drinking tea may slow prostate cancer growth, a new study shows. Recent studies show that tea drinking can help cholesterol levels and reduce cell damage caused by smoking, possibly preventing cancer and heart disease. The newest findings on prostate cancer were presented at the annual Experimental Biology 2004 meeting held this week in Washington.

For their study, researchers recruited 20 men being treated for prostate cancer. They were randomly assigned to drink five cups of green tea, black tea, or soda each day before surgery to remove the tumor and prostate. Their blood was analyzed before the study for levels of phenols — an antioxidant that may have antitumor effects. After their surgery, the men’s blood was analyzed again — as was their prostate tissue.

Those drinking the most tea had the most tea phenols in their prostate tissue samples. They also had lower levels of polyamines, a chemical associated with malignancy (cancer cells).

In a laboratory experiment, Henning looked at cancer cell growth when the men’s tissue samples were exposed to black tea, green tea, or soda in a petri dish. Cancer cell growth was significantly slower with both black and green tea, reports Henning.

More…

Green Tea Component Helps Kill Leukemia Cells
AScribe, 31 March 2004
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that a component in green tea helps kill cells of the most common leukemia in the United States. The research using laboratory cell cultures shows that a component of green tea known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) helps kill leukemia cells by interrupting the communication signals they need to survive. The findings are reported in an article in the journal Blood.

The leukemia cells studied were from patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) — most often diagnosed in patients in their mid-to-late 60s. Currently, there is no cure for CLL, though chemotherapy is administered in the most severe cases. The Mayo Clinic study, led by Neil E. Kay, M.D., shows that green tea’s EGCG interrupted survival signals, prompting leukemia cells to die in eight of 10 patient samples tested in the laboratory.

About the Leukemia called CLL
CLL affects individuals differently in the pace at which it progresses. Some patients may live with it for decades and not require treatment, while others need immediate treatment, and some die within months despite therapy.

Significance of the Mayo Clinic Finding
The CLL characteristics make this finding even more important, as it suggests a new, nontoxic treatment. Mayo Clinic CLL researcher Tait D. Shanafelt, M.D. said “Our research goal is to identify new treatments for CLL that have a favorable side effect profile and can be used in patients with early stage disease to prevent progression. I think we’re getting there.”

Why Green Tea?
Mayo Clinic researchers focused on green tea for at least three reasons. One, since the 1970s, epidemiological studies of cancer have shown that in parts of the world where green tea is consumed, the incidence of solid tumor cancers such as breast, lung and gastrointestinal cancers is lower. Secondly, mouse-model testing of green tea’s cancer-prevention properties has shown they protect against solid tumors. And three, in the laboratory, the EGCG component of green tea has been proven to induce death in cancer cells from solid tumors.

The Mayo Clinic research suggests EGCG works by inhibiting a pathway in the leukemia cells related to angiogenesis — the complex process that maintains nourishing blood flow to a biological structure, in this case a cancer cell.

More…

Green Tea’s Cancer-Fighting Target Found
WebMD, March 15, 2004

Antioxidant Slows Tumor Growth
A powerful antioxidant found in green tea may be responsible for the beverage’s heralded anticancer benefits. New research shows that the antioxidant, known as EGCG, binds to a protein found on tumor cells and dramatically slows their growth. Researchers say previous studies have shown that green tea helps protect against a variety of cancers, such as lung, prostate, and breast, but the mechanisms for these effects are not known.

In the study, published in the April issue of Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, researchers identified a potential target for the antitumor action of EGCG on human lung cancer cells that inhibited the cancer cells’ growth. By learning more about this target, researchers may be able to develop new treatments that maximize green tea’s cancer-fighting potential.

Explaining Green Tea’s Anticancer Benefits
In order to better understand how the antioxidants found in green tea may protect against cancer, researchers looked at how they affected a protein found on the surface of cancer cells called laminin receptor. The study showed that when cancer cells with this protein were treated with polyphenol EGCG, the growth of the tumor cells was significantly reduced.

Researchers say the concentration of the antioxidant required to produce these anticancer effects was equivalent to those found in the body after drinking only two to three cups of green tea. Researchers say the results further the understanding of how antioxidants interact with cancer cells and may one day lead to more effective cancer therapies that use green tea as a dietary cancer treatment.

More…

green-ball.gifThe Seven Cups Tea House in Tucson, Arizona is now OPEN!
Seven Cups Tea House in Tucson, Arizona

2516 East 6th Street, Tucson, Arizona
Opposite Rincon Market, five minutes from Downtown and the University District

We invite all of our tea-drinking friends to come and join us at our tea house in Tucson, Arizona.

A friendly, relaxed, authentically Chinese atmosphere awaits…

tealeaf.gifOpening Times:
Monday – 9:00 – 9:00
Tuesday – 9:00 – 9:00
Wednesday – 9:00 – 9:00
Thrursday – 9:00 – 9:00
Friday – 9:00 – 9:00
Saturday – 9:00 – 9:00
Sunday – 10:00 – 6:00

Our teas are the best available from China, the home of tea, and our tea house is one of the very first genuine Chinese tea houses in North America! All the beautiful furniture, fixtures and fittings are exquisitely hand-carved in China, and we offer a large range of genuine Chinese tea sets and other fine tea wares for sale, as well as our legendary teas in resealable foil packs to take home.

Seven Cups Tea House in Tucson, Arizona

Seven Cups Tea House in Tucson, Arizonagreen-ball.gif Amazing Meng Ding teas are now en-route, from the world’s oldest tea farm!
We first previewed our exciting new Meng Ding Mountain Teas at the Take Me 2 Tea trade show in Las Vegas at the end of March. The samples had been flown over specially for the show, and had only been picked in the previous couple of weeks. Well, our bulk order is on the way, and is expected very soon.

So what is so special about Meng Ding teas? Meng Ding, in Szechwan Province, was the first place that tea was ever cultivated 2000 years ago – the original tea farm! Prior to that, wild tea trees were harvested (which usually resulted in the tall, spindly wild trees being felled to gain access to the leaves). The Sweet Dew, Green Bamboo and amazing, rare Yellow Buds varieties went down extremely well with the most critical tea experts at the tea trade show, and for many people they were simply the best teas they’d ever tasted.

We are the proud, exclusive importers of the first ever Meng Ding Mountain teas to reach North America. Check the tea selection pages to see if they have arrived yet!