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White Tea, Skin Aging, Prostate & Breast Cancer Updates

May 8, 2009 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

One of my goals in writing this blog is to present a wide variety of topics that address the health we see, the inner workings of the body that we often take for granted and the quality of life that we perceive. All three of these areas impact one another. That’s a basic tenet of natural medicine. Today’s update focuses on the external aspects of health (weight loss and wrinkles) and the internal battle for wellness (breast and prostate cancer). Approaching these issues in a proactive way will likely provide a psychological boost as well.

White Tea and Fat Cells

In January I highlighted some the benefits of white tea – “green tea’s younger brother”. The May 2009 issue of the journal Nutrition and Metabolism provides some tantalizing evidence that white tea may turn out to be a legitimate “fat burner”. (1)

German researchers performed a test tube study where they exposed human fat cells to a white tea extract. Exposure to white tea brought about two changes: 1) it decreased the production of new fat cells; and 2) it encouraged the existing fat cells to “break down the fat they contain”. Another important finding is that the white tea did not harm healthy cells.

I recently wrote a column entitled Skin Aging and Ellagic Acid, which focused on the beneficial effects of phytochemical-rich foods and supplements in promoting a healthier complexion. Just the other day I discovered two new studies on a different type of supplement that may also be helpful in improving the appearance and health of the skin. The studies took place in France and Japan.

The French study lasted for 12 weeks and included 47 women with ages ranging from 35-55. The Japanese leg of the study was an 8 week trial that included 33 women who were 40-60 years old. Both studies used a placebo as a means of comparison.

The treatment groups received 10 grams daily of hydrolyzed collagen, basically a form of collagen protein powder that mixes well in liquid. It’s unique because it contains a high proportion of an amino acid called hydroxyproline. This component of protein is believed to support the connective tissue that makes up the skin. The women in the studies exhibited a 28% increase in skin hydration and a 26-30% reduction in the appearance of wrinkles as compared to the placebo groups. These results were assessed by “dermophysiological” observation and by “self-assessment questionnaires”. (2)

In January 2009, I devoted a blog to natural ways of fighting back against prostate cancer (PC). One of the resources I mentioned was the use of pomegranate extract and juice. We now have additional information to support that option.

New study results were just presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association. The findings are based on a 6 year trial that involved 48 men who had undergone unsuccessful treatment for prostate cancer (either radiotherapy or surgery).

A portion of the men drank an 8 ounce glass of pomegranate juice on a daily basis. Those who stuck with this protocol demonstrated a decrease in prostate cancer progression as measured by a prolongation of PSA doubling time and a decline in median PSA slope.

Based on these encouraging results, the researchers now plan to conduct more studies using pomegranate as a preventive measure against PC. (3)

Health Benefits of Flaxseed Components

Omega 3s Lignans Soluble Fiber Other Phytochemicals
Cardiovascular Health Y Y Y Y
Diabetes Y Y
Kidney Disease Y Y
Immune System Y Y Y
Anti-Oxidant Y Y
Anti-Cancer Y Y Y Y
Bone Health Y Y
Women’s Health Y Y Y
Prostate Cancer Y Y
Blood Sugar Support Y

In the past I’ve warned about the danger that erratic blood sugar levels can pose to developing breast cancer (BC). In March of 2009, the British Journal of Cancer reported on something positive that postmenopausal women can do to protect themselves against BC.

Lignans are a variety of phytochemicals found predominantly in flax, pumpkin and sesame seeds and in some fruits and grains. They reportedly have an effect in altering both male and female hormonal status in a protective manner. In men, they are currently being investigated in the management of prostate cancer. In women, they’re of interest for a great many hormonally influenced conditions, such as hot flashes, osteoporosis and, of course, breast cancer.

Researchers examined the data collected from 23 population studies to determine if a diet rich in lignans does in fact protect against BC. Some of the results were inconclusive, but they did determine that postmenopausal women with the highest level of lignan consumption did experience a lower risk of breast cancer. (4)

The beauty of all this research is that you may decide to use white tea, hydrolyzed collagen, pomegranate and lignans for one specific purpose and find that they’re also helping with something else. All of these foods and supplements have been documented as having plenty of “side benefits”. In fact, the list just keeps on growing. That’s why I want to encourage you to check back regularly for updates on newly discovered benefits of these and other natural remedies.

Be well!


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Posted in Men's Health, Women's Health

11 Comments & Updates to “White Tea, Skin Aging, Prostate & Breast Cancer Updates”

  1. mike Says:

    anyone with prostate cancer should know the latest data on vitamin D and get their levels checked.

  2. JP Says:

    I agree with you, Mike.

    It often takes some trial and error to bring Vitamin D levels into the optimal range.

    Be well!


  3. Robert Says:

    Awesome awesome awesome! Keep up this wonderful resource, thank you!


  4. JP Says:

    Thanks, Robert! I’m happy to know it’s of value to you. 🙂

    Be well!


  5. Anonymous Says:

    nice to hear new information about tea ..
    is there any antioxidant activity in white tea ?

  6. JP Says:

    Indeed there is. In fact, some research indicates that white tea may possess even greater antioxidant properties than black and green tea.

    Please refer to this previous column I wrote:


    Be well!


  7. JP Maurice Says:

    How bout green tea ? I like the fat burning aspect of white tea,
    but what about green tea? Gret Blog Thanks.

  8. JP Maurice Says:

    oh yeah one more thing. I read this book on holistic ? health Africa something. And it had some very interesting food for thought.Specifically All races do not respond the same to all medicines foods herbs and aproaches and what not. For example what’s not apparently harmful to one race, may be deadly for another race. For example hamburgers were descibed as a mouthfull of death.
    Man I love hamburgers and I had stopped eating them for a long time till my taste buds and my flvaor lust finally won. But you understand what I’m trying to convey? Please don’t be afaid to say that this remedy might be better for Blacks than say eastern block folks for example.That might help, I don’t know just some thoughts that might be helpful?
    Again great blog, thanks

  9. JP Says:


    Thank you and welcome to the site.

    I think green tea is a wonderful food/remedy as well. I regularly write about it here and highly recommend it for most people.

    I’m not aware of any tea study that’s compared the effects of green or white tea on different races of people. Tea is often studied in Asia because it’s a very popular beverage there. However, tea studies from around the world (outside of Asian countries) have also found positive results.

    There can certainly be differences among people based on geography and genetics. But ultimately I think were much more similar than unique.

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Update: Dietary supplement improves appearance, health of aging skin …


    Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology; Volume 144, March 2015

    A dietary supplement improves facial photoaging and skin sebum, hydration and tonicity modulating serum fibronectin, neutrophil elastase 2, hyaluronic acid and carbonylated proteins

    “In the present study, administration of a dietary supplement containing Pycnogenol®, low-molecular-weight HA, collagen, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and coenzyme Q10 significantly improved facial photoaging, as assessed 2 weeks after the end of a 4-week treatment period. This finding coupled with a significant increase in sebum, hydration and tonicity, if compared with placebo. The improvement in facial photoaging also coupled with an increase in serum fibronectin and HA and a decrease in serum carbonylated proteins and neutrophil elastase 2. Our findings suggest a systemic modulation of these parameters that may represent biomarkers of photoaging pathology and could be used to monitor progression or improvement in this condition. The results from this study are in agreement with a previous investigation where a dietary formulation (BioCell Collagen®) administered for 12 weeks improved skin dryness/scaling and global lines/wrinkles with a significant increase in hemoglobin and collagen in skin dermis at 6 weeks and hemoglobin at the end of the study [16]. In summary, our dietary compound shows a synergistic efficacy of its individual ingredients in improving facial photoaging 2 weeks after the end of a 4-week treatment period. Pycnogenol®, HA, collagen, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and coenzyme Q10, which all possess a rationale of efficacy in modulating the ECM, can be put together in a dietary compound that produces an improvement in skin photoaging also modulating serum HA, carbonylated proteins, fibronectin and neutrophil elastase 2 levels. The clinical meaning of these parameters and their involvement in the photoaging pathophysiology at the systemic level warrant further investigation. Future studies will also address the long-term effects of the formulation used in this investigation in patients affected by photoaging. A limitation of our study is that the ELISAs we used do not allow to discriminate among different forms of some of the analytes that have been the object of our investigation.”

    Be well!


  11. JP Says:

    Update 06/06/15:


    Cancer. 2015 May 18.

    A phase I trial of mushroom powder in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer: Roles of cytokines and myeloid-derived suppressor cells for Agaricus bisporus-induced prostate-specific antigen responses.

    BACKGROUND: Each year in the United States, nearly 50,000 prostate cancer patients exhibit a rise in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, which can indicate disease recurrence. For patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer, we evaluated the effects of white button mushroom (WBM) powder on serum PSA levels and determined the tolerability and biological activity of WBM.

    METHODS: Patients with continuously rising PSA levels were enrolled in the study. Dose escalation was conducted in cohorts of 6; this ensured that no more than 1 patient per cohort experienced dose-limiting toxicity (DLT). The primary objective was to evaluate treatment feasibility and associated toxicity. The secondary objectives were to determine WBM’s effect on serum PSA/androgen levels; myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs); and cytokine levels.

    RESULTS: Thirty-six patients were treated; no DLTs were encountered. The overall PSA response rate was 11%. Two patients receiving 8 and 14 g/d demonstrated complete response (CR): their PSA declined to undetectable levels that continued for 49 and 30 months. Two patients who received 8 and 12 g/d experienced partial response (PR). After 3 months of therapy, 13 (36%) patients experienced some PSA decrease below baseline. Patients with CR and PR demonstrated higher levels of baseline interleukin-15 than nonresponders; for this group, we observed therapy-associated declines in MDSCs.

    CONCLUSIONS: Therapy with WBM appears to both impact PSA levels and modulate the biology of biochemically recurrent prostate cancer by decreasing immunosuppressive factors.

    Be well!


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