New role for milk: Deliver polyphenols with anti-cancer activity

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Polyphenols found in tea manifest anti-cancer effects, but their use is limited by poor bioavailability and disagreeable taste.

A new study in the Journal of Dairy Science® finds that when epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the major extractable polyphenol in green tea and the most biologically active, when diluted in skim milk or other milk complexes remains bioactive and continues to reduce colon cancer cell proliferation in culture at concentrations higher than 0.03 mg of EGCG/mL.

“These results support a new role for milk as an ideal platform for delivery of bioactive compounds and opens the door to a new generation of dairy products providing additional benefits to human health,” say authors Sanaz Haratifar and Milena Corredig, of the department of food science and department of human health and nutritional sciences of the University of Guelph in Canada. 

The majority of extractable polyphenols in tea are flavan-3-ols, commonly referred to as catechins. EGCG is the major catechin found in tea.

Tea polyphenols have been shown to inhibit tumor formation, reduce cancer cell proliferation, increase normal cell death (apoptosis), and/or suppress the formation of new blood vessels feeding tumors (angiogenesis).

For several reasons, tea catechins have poor bioavailability and the goal of the current study was to encapsulate EGCG in casein (milk protein) molecular aggregates, known as micelles, to maintain and enhance catechin bioavailability.

In one experiment, human colorectal cancer cells (HT-29) were grown for 24 hours in the presence of EGCG in water or dispersed in milk. The number of living cancer cells (cell viability) was measured, and it was shown that EGCG reduced cell viability in a dose-dependent fashion.

The study will appear in the February 2014 edition of Journal of Dairy Science.

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Sudhanva Patankar+91 9322272589    
Mumbai, India.  |  December, 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM

New role for milk: Deliver polyphenols with anti-cancer activity :- Respected Sir, This is a wonderful information. We Indians do not eat beef since our ancestors discovered that only the cow milk is one to one comparable to mother's milk a trillions of trillions years ago. We call the cow as Go Mata. Mata in Sanskrit means the human mother. When the mother fails to feed her child, in India, it is the age old practice to supplement mother's milk with the cow milk. Especially, Indian cows are very alert, active, intelligent, loving, care taking & humble. Our ancestors had developed wide hygienic applications of Cow's milk, urine & dung. It is a regular practice to swallow a spoon full of Gomutra i. e. cow's urine & apply Gomaya i.e. dung externally. Since she takes our total care like a mother we treat her as a family member and after her death she is cremated with honor of human. What western advanced world is trying to learn about cow, cow's benefits & cow's love to human etc. now, we had invented much more than that trillions of trillions years back. I suggest that a team of dairy experts must stay in different religious abodes in India to learn the true knowledge about Indian cows. They will for sure become pure vegetarian. In this field all the so called advanced countries which had no culture of their own a few thousand years back can take advantage of the detailed know-how on Indian cows. With most modern technology, they can analyze the physical, chemical, medical & environmental values of the pure, non-hybrid original Indian cows. I am sure, they shall replace their local Buffalo-like Jersey cows by importing pure Indian breed. Think over ti for the total safe benefit of human! call me on my cell.


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