A group of scientists has said that caffeine found in coffee and green tea could effectively slow the growth of brain cancer tumours.
According to the researchers at the (South) Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), animal test results showed regular caffeine found in coffee and green tea to have strongly repressed the growth of inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) closely linked to glioblastoma, which is the most common and aggressive type of primary brain tumour found in human. The research team, comprising of scientists from Seoul National University, Gyeongsang National University, and Emory University in Atlanta, said that calcium plays a primary role in spreading glioblastoma tumour cells in humans, and that IP3R directly contributes to the amount of calcium released.
They discovered a sub-type of IP3R, or IP3R3, to be very active among brain cancer patients and that caffeine stymies the spread of such compounds, resulting in less tumour growth in the brain and blocks cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the body, reports Xinhua. "This is the first type of discovery showing caffeine to have an inhibitive effect on the growth of glioblastoma, and thus, we expect it to have monumental impact on related studies," said Lee Chang-joon, who led the study. The researchers said that the amounts of caffeine used in the animal tests were somewhere in the range of two to five cups of coffee or green tea consumed on average by humans per day.