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Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2012 Mar;5(3):393-402. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-11-0407. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Effect of 2-month controlled green tea intervention on lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, and hormone levels in healthy postmenopausal women.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA. annawu@usc.edu


There have been no controlled intervention studies to investigate the effects of green tea on circulating hormone levels, an established breast cancer risk factor. We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled intervention study to investigate the effect of the main green tea catechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), taken in a green tea extract, polyphenon E (PPE). Postmenopausal women (n = 103) were randomized into three arms: placebo, 400-mg EGCG as PPE, or 800-mg EGCG as PPE as capsules per day for 2 months. Urinary tea catechin and serum estrogen, androgen, lipid, glucose-related markers, adiponectin, and growth factor levels were measured at baseline and at the end of months 1 and 2 of intervention. On the basis of urinary tea catechin concentrations, compliance was excellent. Supplementation with PPE did not produce consistent patterns of changes in estradiol (E2), estrone (E1), or testosterone (T) levels. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol decreased significantly in both PPE groups but was unchanged in the placebo group; the change in LDL-cholesterol differed between the placebo and PPE groups (P = 0.02). Glucose and insulin levels decreased nonsignificantly in the PPE groups but increased in the placebo group; statistically significant differences in changes in glucose (P = 0.008) and insulin (P = 0.01) were found. In summary, green tea (400- and 800-mg EGCG as PPE; ∼5-10 cups) supplementation for 2 months had suggestive beneficial effects on LDL-cholesterol concentrations and glucose-related markers.

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