Deliver Your News to the World

Tea helps treat damaged skin in cancer patients


01 December 2006

Tea extracts work as an effective treatment for patients who suffer from damaged skin following radiation treatment for cancer. Researchers show that this might partly be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of tea. In a study published today in the open access journal BMC Medicine, researchers show that tea acts at the cellular level, by inhibiting inflammatory pathways, to reduce inflammation. They also show that tea extracts reduce the duration of radiation-induced skin damage by up to 10 days in patients who received radiation treatment.

Frank Pajonk, from the University of California in Los Angeles, USA, and colleagues from the University of Freiburg, Germany, studied the effects of green tea and black tea extracts on patients who had been treated with radiotherapy, which can damage the skin. The authors then analysed the effects of the same tea extracts on human and mouse white blood cells in culture.

Pajonk et al. find that tea extracts reduce the duration of skin toxicity following radiotherapy by 5 to 10 days. Green tea extracts are more effective than black tea extracts in some patients. Pajonk et al. also show that tea extracts reduce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, TNFalpha and PGE2, in human white blood cells in culture, with green tea having higher anti-inflammatory properties than black tea. Both black tea and green tea inhibit one major inflammatory pathway in mouse white blood cells.

Pajonk et al. add that tea’s high content of polyphenols is likely to be responsible for its high anti-inflammatory activity, but that other pathways are probably involved in its clinical effectiveness.

# # #

The effects of tea extracts on proinflammatory signaling (
Frank F Pajonk, Anja A Riedisser, Michael M Henke, William H. WH McBride and Bernd B Fiebich
BMC Medicine 2006, 4:28

Journal website:

Please name the journal in any story you write, and link to the article if you are writing for the web.

# # #

For more information about this study, or about the journal, contact Juliette Savin by email at or by phone on +44 (0)20 7631 9931

# # #

BioMed Central is an independent online publishing house committed to providing open access to peer-reviewed biological and medical research. This commitment is based on the view that immediate free access to research and the ability to freely archive and reuse published information is essential to the rapid and efficient communication of science.

BioMed Central currently publishes over 160 journals across biology and medicine. In addition to open-access original research. BioMed Central also publishes reviews, commentaries and other non-original-research content. Depending on the policies of the individual journal, this content may be open access or provided only to subscribers.


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.