The health benefits of green tea are plenty, we all know that! The health-promoting effects of this green-colored beverage are mainly attributed to its compounds, specifically flavanols and flavonols. These green tea compounds are known to handle a wide range of ailments, including different types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stress and liver disease.
Known as the healthiest beverage on the earth, consumption of green tea is now found to reduce kidney toxicity and damage caused by cisplatin, an anticancer drug.
In a study conducted by researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), researchers found that a compound in green tea, called epicatechin gallate (ECG), effectively reduced the chemotherapy drug cisplatin side effects like nephrotoxicity and damage to the kidney.
“Approximately 30 per cent of the treated patients may develop nephrotoxicity after receiving an initial dose of cisplatin. Cisplatin causes production of free radicals inside cells in kidney which leads to oxidative stress and inflammation.
“The therapeutic procedures such as vigorous hydration with normal saline and forced diuresis have limited efficacy in reducing kidney damage. Further, at present no specific drug is available which can prevent or attenuate the kidney damage due to cisplatin,” said Dr Jagriti Bhatia from the Pharmacology department at AIIMS.
“In our study, we observed that ECG obtained from green tea significantly reduced kidney injury due to cisplatin. It was most effective at the dose of 5 mg/kg and was administered to rats through injection for 10 days. Further, ECG reduced inflammation and cell death (apoptosis) in rats,” she said.
Dr Bhatia and her team believe their work would help in development of a new drug to fight life-threatening side-effects of the anti-cancer chemotherapeutic drug.
“If this research progresses, it may lead to a new drug which can combat the ill effects of cisplatin,” she said.
Commenting on the study, Dr Y K Gupta, Head of Department (Pharmacology), AIIMS explained that the research team evaluated the usefulness of the ECG in averting the damage of kidneys caused by cisplatin.
“This identification has the potential to be developed into a therapeutic drug to counter the side-effects of cisplatin,” Dr Gupta affirmed.
Consumed for centuries worldwide, green tea contains loads of antioxidants and nutrients that have been linked to the prevention of many types of cancer and many chronic diseases. This hot, green beverage is many times touted as a miracle drink, thanks to its potential to treat a number of conditions including hypertension, headaches, stress, depression and skin diseases.