Scientific Correspondence

Nature 398, 381 (1 April 1999) | doi:10.1038/18793

Angiogenesis inhibited by drinking tea

Yihai Cao1 & Renhai Cao1

Consumption of tea has been shown to inhibit the growth of several tumour types in animals, including cancers of the lung and oesophagus1, 2, 3. Drinking tea, especially green tea, is also associated with a lower incidence of human cancer1. The mechanisms of cancer inhibition are not known, although several hypotheses have been proposed. We investigated whether drinking green tea could suppress angiogenesis, a process of blood-vessel growth required for tumour growth and metastasis. We find that green tea, and one of its components, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), significantly prevents the growth of new blood vessels in animals. This finding indicates that drinking tea may be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of angiogenesis-dependent diseases, including cancer and blindness caused by diabetes.

  1. Laboratory of Angiogenesis Research, Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institute, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
    e-mail: Email: yihai.cao@mtc.ki.se