Natural products, mostly plants, and their constituents are employed in the treatment of ailments since ancient times, and their function in health management is well-known in Asian countries and beyond. Natural products or plant seeds and fruits are extensively utilized in the Arab world to heal diseases, and many plants are recommended for disease therapy, including dates fruits, olive fruits, and black seeds. Medicinal herbs and their constituents, such as olive fruits/oil, dates fruits, and Nigella sativa, has previously been shown to have anti-cancer properties by modulation of numerous biological activities.
Green tea, is a beverage from the Camellia sinensis plant. It is a favorite around the world. This helps to keep the color of the leaves intact. Its not fermented, and so it keeps in an important molecule – polyphenols. Green tea and its contents regulate health by modulating biological processes such as molecular and metabolic pathways.
Green tea’s polyphenol concentration contributes to its health-promoting properties. Catechins are the primary ingredients of green tea, with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) being one of the most effective catechins. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) have anticancer properties via modulating signalling pathways and also playing a function in the downregulation of proteins implicated in cancer cell invasiveness.
Mechanisms of action of Green tea in cancer prevention
Although green tea has an important role in illness prevention, the exact mechanism of action is still unknown. The following are some of the probable mechanisms of action of green tea in cancer prevention and progression:
- Green tea inhibits multiple tumor-inducing pathways, hence controlling the growth and progression of tumors.
- Green tea inhibits angiogenesis, activates tumor suppressor genes, and inhibits other transcription factors.
- It is involved in cancer formation and progression because of its chemo-preventive effects
- Green tea also plays a function in neutralizing free radicals and preventing macromolecule damage, thus preventing tumor development.
- It also helps by modulating genes involved in tumor initiation, progression, and promotion.
Anticancer Properties of Green Tea via Modulating Cell Signaling Pathways
Cancer is a complex disease that includes genetic and metabolic changes. The current therapy method is costly, and it also disrupts several cell signalling pathways. Disease management with natural remedies, particularly from plants, is less expensive and has fewer harmful effects. Various medicinal plants or natural products have exhibited anticancer effects through modulating cell signalling pathways and other biological functions.
Green tea and its constituents play a vital role in cancer prevention via activation/inactivation of genetic pathways, according to previous findings based on clinical trials and animal models.
Green Tea’s Effect on Apoptosis
The effect of green tea polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate, on the induction of apoptosis and cell cycle regulation in human and mouse carcinoma showed conclusion that green tea may protect against cancer by causing cell cycle arrest and inducing apoptosis. A critical evaluation of the current scientific research on the effects of green tea polyphenols and their main ingredient EGCG on prostate cancer signalling pathways.
Green Tea’s Angiogenesis Effects
Angiogenesis is critical in the formation and progression of tumours. Angiogenesis inhibition is the most critical stage in cancer prevention and treatment. Treatment with EGCG, inhibited the development, vascularity, and proliferation of human colon cancer xenografts in previous investigations.
Green tea constituent EGCG plays a crucial role in the inhibition of tumor cells by decreasing the activation of signaling pathways, consequently inhibiting breast cancer tumor development, proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis.
Other studies conducted to understand the effects of green tea by activation/inactivation of other genetic signaling pathways too showed good results.
In vivo and in vitro studies prove that green tea compounds, have a health-promoting effect by modulating biological functions. Green tea/EGCG overdose, on the other hand, causes severe effects such as acute liver failure/hepatotoxicity due to changes in liver enzymes.
Future of Green Tea in cancer treatment
Green tea and its contents have an anticancer effect in animal models and cell lines via regulating cell signaling pathways. Research using animal models may aid in determining specific mechanism of action and level of toxicity without compromising therapeutic potential. Furthermore, investigation of green tea based on clinical trials would be extremely beneficial in the development of new anticancer medications.