Curcumin and Green Tea Polyphenols: Synergistic Anticancer Compounds

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Curcumin and Green Tea Polyphenols: Synergistic Anticancer Compounds

Reference: Khafif A, Schantz SP, Chou TC, et al. Quantitation of chemopreventive synergism between (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate and curcumin in normal, premalignant and malignant human oral epithelial cells. Carcinogenesis 1998; 19:419-24.

Summary: Varying concentrations of curcumin from Curcuma longa (turmeric) and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from Camellia sinensis (green tea) were incubated with four different human cell lines. One line was from normal tonsillar tissue, one from a precancerous lesion, and two from cancers. Unlike curcumin, EGCG had more difficulty impairing growth of the cell lines the more malignant they were. The combination of the two in a 1:1 ratio was significantly more effective at limiting cell growth than either alone. Flow cytometry studies showed that curcumin and EGCG had different mechanisms of action based on the fact that EGCG blocked cells at the G(1) phase of the cell cycle compared to G(2)/S for curcumin. In the normal cell line, the combination of curcumin and EGCG actually showed mild support of growth, indicating they were not toxic to healthy cells. The authors conclude that a combination of EGCG and curcumin may have significant, synergistic activity in preventing and reversing cancer.

Natural Product Research Consultants, Inc.

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By E. Yarnell

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