Research Findings

CANSA, Rooibos Extract and Fair Cape Yoghurt – The Connection

CANSA, Rooibos Extract and Fair Cape Yoghurt – The Connection

What is the link between CANSA and Rooibos? 

  1. CANSA has financially supported research on Rooibos extract as a possible, natural, cancer-preventive product for 9 years with over R1.1 million rand.
  2. This research has mainly been conducted at the PROMEC Unit of the Medical Research Council (MRC) in Parow, Cape Town under the leadership of Prof Wentzel Gelderblom and has also been funded by the Rooibos Council.1
  3. Research has been published in peer-reviewed journals showing that Rooibos extracts could prevent many aspects of carcinogenesis (the process of cancer formation).2,3,4,5
  4. Of particular importance has been the discovery that rats drinking Rooibos tea, as their only source of liquid, for ten weeks, had a five-fold elevation of the ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidised glutathione. Black tea and green tea were found to be inferior and did not even double the ratio.6
  5. Glutathione is the master anti-oxidant in the body.7 It is made by the body, especially the liver, and cannot be taken as a supplement because it is broken down in the gut.8 It decreases with ageing9 and smoking10 and has been found in many studies to counteract heart diseases, cancers and ageing. 7,11,12,13,14.15
  6. Consequently, it is reasoned that if Rooibos tea can elevate the reduced glutathione to oxidised glutathione ratio (GSH/GSSG), this remarkable effect could help to reduce the risk of cancer.
  7. A recent South African, unpublished study, by Dr Jeanine Marnewick, has also found that Rooibos tea taken as 6 cups a day, for 3 months, by healthy volunteers, elevated blood glutathione by 100%.16
  8. Similar results were found Nikolova and colleagues17
  9. CANSA is excited about these results and believes that they point to growing convergence of evidence that Rooibos could play an important role in reducing the risk of cancer in South Africa18. What is also pleasing, is that this tea is quite natural, safe to use and relatively inexpensive. It is also the most successful indigenous plant product to be commercialised and is exported all over the world.
  10. Plans are being made by CANSA and the Rooibos Council to jointly conduct research into clinical Rooibos effects in human cohort groups in the future. Questions that need answering include; How many cups of tea per day are needed for optimal reduced-glutathione-ratio enhancement? Can Rooibos tea enhance the reduced-glutathione-ratio in smokers and the elderly? Is there a correlation between drinking Rooibos every day and various aspects of health?
  11. Internationally there is also a growing interest in the potential of green tea to prevent cancer.19, 20, 21,22

What Is The Link Between Rooibos And Fair Cape Yoghurt?

  1. CANSA recognises the Fair Cape yoghurt plus Rooibos extract as a Smart Choice, mainly because it contains the equivalent Rooibos extract of one cup of the tea23 and is a “High-standard” yoghurt. It is reasoned that if Rooibos helps to reduce the risk of cancer, then more than one route of intake is a good idea, i.e. tea and yoghurt.
  2. Because of the premium placed on Rooibos, CANSA is keen to see that the Rooibos extract used in the yoghurt is 100% natural and standardised. Sophisticated analytical tests have been put in place to ensure this.24
  3. Because CANSA is in favor of natural products and careful with artificial products because some of them have been shown to increase the risk of cancer, only natural products have been added to this yoghurt by Fair Cape.
  4. Because of the sensitivities around preservatives, this yoghurt contains a natural, state-of-the-art,  polypeptide preservative which is readily digested in the gut and does not get taken up into the blood.25
  5. CANSA also recognises the high concentration of probiotic bacteria in the yoghurt and is aware of growing research suggesting that these bacteria could reduce the cancer risk by increasing immune cell activity in the gut and  suppress the growth of bacteria that could convert procarcinogens into carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals).26

References Quoted

  1. South African herbal teas: Aspalathus linearis, Cyclopia spp. And Atrixia phylicoides – A Review, E. Joubert, W.C.A. Gelderblom, A. Louw, D. de Beer, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 119 (2008), 376-412
  2. An investigation on the antimutagenic properties of South African herbal teas, Marnewick, J.L., gelderblom, W.C.A., Joubert, E., Mutation Research, 471, (2000), 157-166
  3. Ex vivo modulation of chemical-induced mutagenesis by subcellular liver fractions of rats treated with Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia) as well as a green and black (Camellia sinensis) teas, Marnewich, J.L., Batenburg, W., Swart, P., Joubert, E., Swanefelder, S., gelderblom, W.C.A., Mutation Research, 558, (2004), 145-154
  4. Inhibition of tumour promotion in mouse skin by extracts of Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia), unique South African herbal teas, Marnewick, J.L., Joubert, E., Joseph, S., Swanefelder, S.,Swart, P., Gelderblom, W.C.A., Cancer Letters, 224 (2005), 193-202
  5. A comparative study on the antimutagenic properties of aqueous extracts of Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos), different Cyclopia spp. (honeybush) and camellia sinensis teas, Van der merwe, J.D., Joubert, E., Richards, E.S., Manley, M., Snijman, P.W., Marnewick, J.L., Gelderblom, W.C.A., Mutation Research, 611, (2006), 42-53
  6. Modulation of hepatic drug metabolising enzymes and oxidative status of Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia), green and black (Camellia sinensis) teas in rats, Marnewich, J.L., Joubert, E., Swart, P., Van der Westhuizen, F., gelderblom, W., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 51, (2003), 8113-8119
  7. The central role of glutathione in the pathophysiology of human diseases, Franco, R., Schoneveld, O. J., Pappa, A., Panaviotidis, M.I., Arch Physiol Biochem., 113, (2007), 234-258
  8. The systemic availability of oral glutathione, Witschi, A., Reddy, S., Stofer, B., Lauterburg, B.H., Eur J Clin Pharmacol., 43, (1992), 667-669
  9. Mitochondrial glutathione, a key survival antioxidant, Mari, M., Morales, A., Colell, A., Garcia-Ruiz, C., Fernandez-Checa, J.C., Antioxid Redox Signal., Jun 26, 2009
  10. Effect of age on alteration of glutathione metabolism following chronic cigarette smoke inhalation in mice, Teramoto, S., Uejima, Y., Teramoto, K., Ouchi, Y., Fukuchi, Y., Lung, 174, (1996), 119-126
  11. The importance of glutathione in human disease, Townsend, D.M., Tew, K.D., Tapiero, H., Biomed Pharmacother., 57, (2003), 145-155
  12. Therapeutic potential of glutathione, Exner, R., Wessner, B., Manhart, N., Roth, E., Wien Klin Wochenschr., 112, (2000), 610-616
  13. Glutathione metabolism and its implications for health, Wu, G., fang, Y.Z., Yang, S., Lupton, J.R., Turner, N.D., J Nutr., 134, (2004), 489-492
  14. Reduced glutathione system: role in cancer development, prevention and treatment (Review), Locigno R, Castronovo, V., Int J Oncol., 19, (2001), 221-236
  15. Glutathione dysregulation and the etiology and progression of human diseases, Ballatori, N., Krance, S.M., Notenboom, S., Shi, S., Tieu, K., Hammond, C.L., Biol. Chem., 390, (2009), 191-214
  16. Rooibos and heart disease, Unpublished studies. Marnewick, J., Rooibos Science Café, MTN ScienCentre, Cape Town, 26 November, 2008
  17. Antioxidant effects of rooibos tea on workers occupationally exposed to lead, Nikolova, V., Petrova, S., Petkova, V., Pavlova, A., Georgieva, T., Toxicology letters, 172 (S), (2007), 120-121
  18. CANSA and Rooibos Tea – The connection, PowerPoint
  19. Tea polyphenols and their roles in cancer prevention and chemotherapy, Chen, Di, Ping Dou, Q., Int J Mol Sci., 9, (2008), 1196-1206
  20. Tea and cancer prevention: Studies in animals and humans, Chung, F-L, Schwartz, J., Herzog, C.R., Yang, Y-M., J. Nutr., 133, (2003), 3268S-3274S
  21. Cancer prevention by tea: animal studies, molecular mechanisms and human relevance, Yang, C.S., Wang, X., Lu, G., Picinich, S.C., Nat Rev Cancer, 9, (2009), 429-439
  22. Green tea (Camellia sinensis) for the prevention of cancer, Boehm, K., Borrelli, F., Ernst, E., Habacher, G., Hung, S.K., Milazzo, S., Hornbecker, M., Cochrane Database Syst Rev., Jul 8, 2009
  23. 300 mg/150 g Rooibos Ltd Rooibos extract in Fair Cape Rooibos Yoghurt.
  24. LCMS positive mode, GCMS Head-Space Positive mode: CAF, University of Stellenbosch
  25. Natural antibacterial polypeptide produced by strains of Lactococcus lactis
  26. Application of probiotics in cancer, De Moreno de LeBlanc, A., Matar, C., Perdigon, G, Br J Nutr., 98, (2007), S105-S110

Dr Carl Albrecht
Head of Research – CANSA


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