JAKARTA, NNC - Recent research conducted by researchers from Salford University says matcha green tea is not only beneficial to help one lose weight, but is also used to treat cancer.
Laboratory tests reveal that the bitter tea can make cancer cells sleep by paralyzing their energy supply, stopping cancer cells from replenishing their fuel.
The researchers looked at the effects of matcha extract on breast cancer stem cells--which can turn into any tumor cell, divide and renew themselves.
The team investigated its effects by using a metabolic phenotype, a scientific process that examines how compounds directly affect cells.
Through that, they found matcha tea extract suppresses mitochondrial metabolism, which is considered to be the center of strength for each cell.
Professor Michael Lisanti, who led the study, revealed that the extract had shifted cancer cells to a "calm metabolic state".
"In other words, it [matcha] prevents cells from refueling and therefore they [cancer cells] become inactive and die." In the results, published in the scientific journal Aging, the researchers analyzed how matcha attacks cancer cells in hopes of knowing more about their potential for fighting cancer.
They found the evidence was "highly influenced" by the mTOR signaling pathway, which is known to play an important role in the metabolism of cancer cells.
Matcha extracts also weaken the ribosome component--which synthesizes most of the proteins needed by cells for their survival.
Researchers hope that matcha, in the future, can be used in the same way as rapamycin--a drug that turns off the mTOR pathway.
Professor Lisanti added, "Matcha green tea is a natural product that is used as a dietary supplement with great potential for various treatments." "The effect on human breast cancer cells is very striking; active ingredients in matcha have a surgical effect in breaking down certain signaling pathways." "Our results are consistent with the idea that matcha may have significant therapeutic potential, mediating metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells." Professor Lisanti and colleagues have previously discovered that bergamot, the ingredient in Earl Gray tea, kills cancer stem cells.
Matcha is a type of green tea in powder form. This originates from Japan, the most famous place to be used in tea ceremonies.
Martin Ledwick, head of information for Cancer Research UK nurses said, "There is no strong evidence that green tea can help treat cancer in patients. Although this initial research shows that matcha green tea can kill breast cancer cells that grow in the laboratory, this is very different from drinking tea."
"Other early-stage studies show that extracts from green tea can stop cancer cells from growing. But at this time the evidence is not strong enough to know this for sure and we need verification from human research to prove this," the Daily Mail reported.