Preventing Cancer with Tea Leaf Extract


Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu, researcher at Swansea University in the United Kingdom, and his colleagues from Bharathiar University and the K. S. Rangasamy College of Technology in India have discovered a method to destroy 80% of cancer cells with tea leaf extract.

The evolution of their research

The researchers have been testing a new method of producing quantum dots, particles of the size of only several nanometres. They were exploring a non-toxic alternative method of producing them using plants – tea leaf extract from Camellia sinensis. This is a cheaper and simpler method of creating quantum dots in comparison with the chemical alternative which has toxic effects and it’s even more expensive. Tea leaves also have various vitamins, antioxidants, animo acids and polyphenols. They incubated a mixture of cadmium sulfate (CdSO4), sodium sulfide (Na2S) and tea leaves, causing the formation of quantum dots. After it was done, the nanoparticles penetrated the pores of lung cancer cells.

And the result was…

They weren’t expecting this, but they did good for trying a plant-based method. The quantum dots have prevented the lung cancer cells from growing. This is due to the fact that the CdS found in tea leaves exhibit great fluorescence emission in cancer cell visualising.

If they would’ve used conventional CdS nanoparticles, they wouldn’t have had the same result. Dr. Pitchaimuthu said that their research consolidated the idea that making quantum dots using tea leaves is a better alternative in comparison with creating them with the help of conventional chemicals. There is still place for investigating in depth the interdependence between cancer cells and quantum dots.

The researcher also stated that they would like to assemble a “quantum dot factory” to further carry their investigation, hoping that other collaborators would give some help. This discovery has enabled them to want to explore more uses.


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