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Frequently Asked Questions

 


Should I stop drinking green tea during chemotherapy to avoid consuming too many antioxidants?

There are two research studies (1,2) that have shown increased survival of women in Japan with stage I and II breast cancer related to how much green tea they drank after their diagnosis (drinking 3 or more cups/day led to increased survival).

A different study yet has shown increased survival of women in China with epithelial ovarian cancer who consumed at least one cup of green tea daily compared to women who drank no green tea (3).

None of these studies made any mention of women stopping their consumption of green tea during therapy. Research continues to evaluate the various components of green tea and the multiple ways that these molecules influence cancer cells, not just any effects of the antioxidant capacity.

Until research has given us more information about potential benefits and toxicity of green tea extracts, I would recommend consuming green tea as a beverage rather than relying on green tea extracts for anti-cancer benefit. One recent in vitro study using a green tea extract showed unexpected adverse effects by promoting lung cancer cell growth at high doses. (4) Another study which was a clinical trial of green tea extracts at a dose of 250 mg twice daily showed no significant benefit when used in men with hormone-refractory prostate cancer. (5)

I would also suggest seeking the input and recommendations from the Registered Dietitian (RD) at your cancer treatment facility for a full assessment of your individualized nutritional needs and goals.

Lastly, I also suggest reading what I have to say on the following faq, which also addresses this question in a more general manner: http://www.cancerrd.com/faqs/faq37.htm

(1) Jpn J Cancer Res. 1998 Mar;89(3):254-61.

Influence of drinking green tea on breast cancer malignancy among Japanese patients. Nakachi K, Suemasu K, Suga K, Takeo T, Imai K, Higashi Y.

(2) Cancer Lett. 2001 Jun 26;167(2):175-82.

Regular consumption of green tea and the risk of breast cancer recurrence: follow-up study from the Hospital-based Epidemiologic Research Program at Aichi Cancer Center (HERPACC), Japan.

Inoue M, Tajima K, Mizutani M, Iwata H, Iwase T, Miura S, Hirose K, Hamajima N, Tominaga S.

(3) Int J Cancer. 2004 Nov 10;112(3):465-9.

Green tea consumption enhances survival of epithelial ovarian cancer. Zhang M, Lee AH, Binns CW, Xie X.

(4) J Nat Prod. 2004 Dec;67(12):2063-9.

Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 activation by (-)-epicatechin gallate: potential adverse effects of cancer chemoprevention with high-dose green tea extracts. Zhou YD, Kim YP, Li XC, Baerson SR, Agarwal AK, Hodges TW, Ferreira D, Nagle DG.

(5) Urol Oncol. 2005 Mar-Apr;23(2):108-13.

A prospective clinical trial of green tea for hormone refractory prostate cancer: An evaluation of the complementary/alternative therapy approach. Choan E, Segal R, Jonker D, Malone S, Reaume N, Eapen L, Gallant V.

faq posted 7/05

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Nutritional Concerns during Cancer Treatment (related to side effects)

Nutritional Concerns during  Cancer Treatment Can you provide a list of all chemotherapy drugs called alkylating agents that may potentially have interactions with antioxidant supplements during chemotherapy? posted 10/02
Nutritional Concerns during  Cancer Treatment Dear Diana, I am undergoing treatments for cancer and am not eating well. What should I do? posted 7/01
Nutritional Concerns during Treatment Can I drink your soy shake recipes if my oncologist or dietitian has recommended that I follow a neutropenic diet due to my low white blood cell counts? posted 5/00, updated 7/01, updated 11/02, updated 8/03
Nutritional Concerns during Treatment Should I consume antioxidants during my cancer therapy? posted 12/01, updated 10/02
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Can herbs interact with any of the chemotherapy drugs? posted 4/01, updated 9/02
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Are there any diet changes to help relieve bloating during abdominal radiation? posted 4/03
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Do you have diet suggestions for someone who has diarrhea after
radiation therapy for rectal cancer?
posted 1/04, updated 4/04, 11/04, 1/05
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Is it safe to drink green tea if I have a port for administration of my chemotherapy? posted 1/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Can you tell me foods to eat to reduce the acid in my urine and pain in my bladder and ureters? posted 2/04, updated 5/05
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment How can I eat a diet as healthy as you suggest if I need to be
hospitalized for more than a day or two?
posted 3/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment My husband is having chemotherapy treatments and has lost his sense
of taste after one treatment. Are there any foods I can prepare that will give him some relief?
posted 9/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Is there a good web site describing the nutrition related side effects from chemo drugs? posted 10/04
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment Should I stop drinking green tea during chemotherapy to avoid consuming too many antioxidants? posted 7/05
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment How can I use the diet recommendations on your web site and in your book to both increase my intake of cancer fighting foods for optimizing my cancer recovery and lose weight at the same time? posted 3/06
Nutritional Concerns during  Treatment What tips do you have to stay on a healthy diet during the holiday season? posted 11/06

 

 

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Vitamins

Soy Shake I have recently seen a lot of news articles about the relationship between vitamin D and cancer prevention. Should we all run out and get more Vitamin D supplements? posted 2/06
Soy Shake I am being treated for bladder cancer. I have heard that vitamins that might help me reduce my risk of recurrence. Do you know anything about this? posted 8/02 , updated 11/05
Soy Shake Do you have recommendations for herbs and vitamins that children should use to recover from a bone marrow transplant? posted 3/05
Soy Shake Can you provide a list of all chemotherapy drugs called alkylating agents that may potentially have interactions with antioxidant supplements during chemotherapy? posted 10/02
Soy Shake Should I consume antioxidants during my cancer therapy? posted 12/01, updated 10/02
Soy Shake Should I stop drinking green tea during chemotherapy to avoid consuming too many antioxidants? posted 7/05
Soy Shake I have recently heard that Vitamin A may be linked to osteoporosis. I see Vitamin A in nearly everything on food labels, even my soymilk. What is the connection and how much should I be consuming? posted 5/02, updated 2/03

 


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These questions and answers are intended to be of a general informative nature. Please consult with the Registered Dietitian in your cancer center or your health care provider for nutritional advice that can be individualized to your specific medical condition.

Contact Information:
Phone/Fax: 734/996-9260

P.O. Box 130221, Ann Arbor, MI  48113

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