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Originally published September 11 2008

Green Tea and IP6: Effective Pancreatic Cancer Preventative and Treatment

by Barbara L. Minton

(NaturalNews) Substances found in green tea and high fiber foods have been found effective in the treatment and prevention of pancreatic cancer, an extremely virulent form of disease with few effective treatments. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., so any indication of an effective preventative and treatment is very good news.

A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer generally comes only in its late stages since there are few noticeable symptoms during the early stages. Patients with pancreatic cancer survive an average of only 10 months following their diagnosis, although this time is usually one of misery induced by chemotherapy. 1 of every 36 men will contract the disease in his lifetime. For women, the incidence is 1 of every 195.

Catechin and inositol hexaphosphate (IP6), two naturally occurring molecules found in green tea and high-fiber foods, are compounds that have been shown to prevent the growth of cancer cells when administered as single therapeutic agents against a number of cancers. In a study reported in the July, 2007 Journal of Surgical Research, researchers hypothesized that alone and in combination, catechin and IP6 would be effective against pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer cell lines were treated with catechin, IP6, and a combination of the two. Cell viability and vascular endothelial growth factor were measured. Apoptosis (the programmed appropriate death of cells) was evaluated. Results indicated that the combination of catechin and IP6 significantly inhibited the proliferation of cell growth compared to each administered separately in one cell line. In another cell line, growth was inhibited by each agent alone compared to controls. An increase in early apoptosis was attributed to catechin therapy in both cell lines, while the combination of these agents also increased early apoptotic activity. Vascular endothelial growth was reduced by IP6 in both cell lines.

The researchers concluded that the results, combined with the prevalence of these compounds in safe, naturally occurring foods, make catechin and IP6 attractive therapies and preventatives for pancreatic cancer.

The catechins found in green tea are polyphenols belonging to the flavonoid family. They have also been recently shown to reduce the risk of ovarian and colorectal cancers. Along with their cancer fighting abilities, they have significant antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and other health enhancing properties. Epigalloacatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant catechin in green tea and has been shown in tests to be able to penetrate the body's cells and shield DNA. Significant amounts of catechins are also found in chocolate.

IP6 is a naturally occurring carbohydrate found in substantial amounts in whole grains, dried beans, nuts, seeds, rice, wheat germ and corn. It has recently been shown effective against a variety of cancers. In addition to the arresting of cell proliferation noted in the pancreatic cancer study, IP6 induces the differentiation of malignant cells. The more differentiated the malignant cells, the less aggressive and dangerous is the cancer. IP6 displays antioxidant and immunity enhancing properties which also contribute to tumor cell destruction.

Both green tea and IP6 are available in supplement form.

Learn more about the catechins from green tea at:

Learn more about IP6 at:

About the author

Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

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