Ginger, Tea May Fight
Cancer, Studies Show
Ginger, green tea and a Chinese herb
may all help prevent the development of cancer, researchers told
The experimental findings -- most
coming from experiments on mice -- do not yet merit a change in
diet. But they do suggest there are some ways people may be able
to further reduce their risk.
Smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable
cancer in many countries, and in the developed world experts are
starting to agree that poor diet and a lack of exercise run a
But researchers speaking to a meeting
on Phoenix of the American Association for Cancer Research said
they were keen to find ways to further lower the risk.
"These studies are extremely important
and must be continued to help us understand better ways of preventing
cancer which do not require extraordinary measures," Dr. Raymond
DuBois of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, who chaired the
meeting, said in a statement.
"We're hoping that, armed with
this information, individuals will become more proactive about
their health on a daily basis, in consultation with their doctors."
Ann Bode and Zigang Dong of the
University of Minnesota used a ginger extract on mice infected
with human colon cancer cells. The specially bred mice almost
always grow tumors.
But when fed extracts of -gingerol
-- the substance that makes ginger spicy -- fewer mice grew the
After 15 days, Bode and Dong counted
13 tumors in mice fed normal diets compared to four tumors in
mice fed the ginger extract before and after they were injected
with tumor cells.
"As we continue to study the spice
in other tumor areas, we hope it will translate into significant
anti-cancer properties for humans," Bode said in a statement.
A second group tested the Chinese
medicinal herb, Scutellaria barbata or Ban Zhi Lian.
The team at Union College in Nebraska
found it slowed the growth of prostate tumors in mice.
A team at the Arizona Cancer Center
in Tucson had 118 heavy smokers drink at least four cups a day
of both green and black tea and measured a chemical called 8-OHdG,
which the body releases in response to DNA damage like the kind
that can cause cancer.
Those who drank decaffeinated green
tea for four months had a 31 percent reduction in 8-OHdG. Those
who drank black tea had no reduction.
Reference Source 89