From tea to treatment; epigallocatechin gallate and its potential involvement in minimizing the metabolic changes in cancer

Amanda L. Tauber, Stephanie S. Schweiker, Stephan M. Levonis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As the most abundant bioactive polyphenol in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a promising natural product that should be used in the discovery and development of potential drug leads. Due to its association with chemoprevention, EGCG may find a role in the development of therapeutics for prostate cancer. Natural products have long been used as a scaffold for drug design, as their already noted bioactivity can help accelerate the development of novel treatments. Green tea and the EGCG contained within have become associated with chemoprevention, and both in vitro and in vivo studies have correlated EGCG to inhibiting cell growth and increasing the metabolic stress of cancer cells, possibly giving merit to its long utilized therapeutic use in traditional therapies. There is accumulating evidence to suggest EGCG's role as an inhibitor of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin signaling cascade, acting upon major axis points within cancer survival pathways. The purpose of this review is to examine the research conducted on tea along with EGCG in the areas of the treatment of and/or prevention of cancer. This review discusses Camellia sinensis as well as the bioactive phytochemical compounds contained within. Clinical uses of tea are explored, and possible pathways for activity are discussed before examining the evidence for EGCG's potential for acting on these processes. EGCG is identified as being a possible lead phytochemical for future drug design investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalNutrition Research
Early online date10 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


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