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Studies indicate healthy eating may affect cancer development, improve digestive system

New Orleans, LA Making simple dietetic changes, such as incorporating green tea and fruits, may have a large impact on gastrointestinal health, according to new research presented today at Digestive Disease Week in New Orleans. Digestive Disease Week (DDW) is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"Particularly for children, healthy eating patterns are important for proper GI function and development," said Lee Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital. "Incorporating a healthy diet into a sound lifestyle can help prevent some of the most common GI-related conditions today."

Mechanism of Cell Growth Inhibition by Green Tea Extract in Barrett's Associated Esophageal Adenocarcinoma (Abstract 103982*)

Previous studies have found that the major polyphenol in green tea extracts, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has chemopreventive effects on cancers affecting a number of organs in the digestive tract. In this study, researchers at the Harvard Medical School and VA Boston Healthcare System investigated the effects of EGCG on human esophageal cancer cells associated with Barrett's esophagus.

The team found that EGCG inhibits the growth and reproduction of Barrett's esophagus-associated human esophageal adenocarcinoma (cancer) cells (SEG-1 and BIC-1). They concluded that exposure to EGCG induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) and results in increased levels of the proteins caspase-3 and cleaved poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP).

In the study, the adenocarcinoma cells were treated with different concentrations of EGCG and monitored for cell growth, method of cell death and changes in apoptotic protein levels. Treatment of cells with EGCG inhibited cell growth and caused signs of early apoptosis at 24 hours. Further studies found that EGCG significantly increased level
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