Green tea and anticancer perspectives: updates from last decade

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2015;55(6):792-805. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2012.680205.


Green tea is the most widely consumed beverage besides water and has attained significant attention owing to health benefits against array of maladies, e.g., obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer insurgence. The major bioactive molecules are epigallocatechin-3-gallate, epicatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, epigallocatechin, etc. The anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic activities of green tea were highlighted some years ago. Several cohort studies and controlled randomized trials suggested the inverse association of green tea consumption and cancer prevalence. Cell culture and animal studies depicted the mechanisms of green tea to control cancer insurgence, i.e., induction of apoptosis to control cell growth arrest, altered expression of cell-cycle regulatory proteins, activation of killer caspases, and suppression of nuclear factor kappa-B activation. It acts as carcinoma blocker by modulating the signal transduction pathways involved in cell proliferation, transformation, inflammation, and metastasis. However, results generated from some research interventions conducted in different groups like smokers and nonsmokers, etc. contradicted with aforementioned anticancer perspectives. In this review paper, anticancer perspectives of green tea and its components have been described. Recent findings and literature have been surfed and arguments are presented to clarify the ambiguities regarding anticancer perspectives of green tea and its component especially against colon, skin, lung, prostate, and breast cancer. The heading of discussion and future trends is limelight of the manuscript. The compiled manuscript provides new avenues for researchers to be explored in relation to green tea and its bioactive components.

Keywords: Green tea; anticancer; antimutagenic; apoptosis; metastasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / chemistry*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Catechin / chemistry
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Tea
  • Catechin