“Fight cancer with tea!” Have you heard, or read, this claim, lately? Unfortunately, it seems to be more a myth than a fact. Studies from the 1980s and 1990s suggest that Japanese green tea reduces the risk of prostate cancer, yet a recent study from Scotland suggests that drinking 7 cups of black tea a day, actually increases a man’s prostate cancer risk! Some claim that a green tea skin spray can prevent skin cancer; others claim that drinking green tea can cure breast cancer. Another study from 2006 suggested that green tea applied to the skin may help treat damaged skin in cancer patients. A Japanese study from 2009 suggests that drinking 5 or more cups of green tea per day may lower your risk of developing certain blood and lymph system cancers. According to more recent studies in 2011, green tea extract reduced cancer cells’ ability to reproduce, when used in animal tests in high doses, but the effect has yet to be reproduced in humans. The American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, and other research bodies call these findings interesting, but inconclusive. Scientists know that tea contains antioxidants, but more study is needed to determine their effect on the disease, as well as a person’s risk for developing cancer.
Until further, more reliable information can be obtained, it is wisest to use tea as a part of a healthy diet, in place of high-calorie beverages like sodas and alcohol, and as a flavorful assistant to proper body hydration. This will help your body keep itself healthy, which, in itself, helps it resist cancer and other diseases. Tea is still a healthy and delicious drink, even if it doesn’t turn out to be a cancer cure!
Copyright 2012, Elizabeth Urbach.
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For more information:
“The top 10 tea myths: don’t be fooled by any of them!”
“Bottled tea may contain fewer antioxidants than freshly brewed tea”
“What are the different kinds of green tea available in San Jose?”
“Chinese black tea in San Jose”
“How does tea fit in with the new USDA dietary guidelines”
“Tea and the mold-free diet”
“Tea and the mold-free diet, part 2”
“Can you really de-caffeinate your tea in 30 seconds?”
“5 ways to treat cold and flu symptoms with tea”
“Gluten-free afternoon tea tips”
“Tea and Prostate Cancer: Keep Headlines Truthful” by Alex Zorach
“Does green tea cure or prevent breast cancer?” by Margaret Studer
“Tea and Cancer Prevention: Strengths and Limits of the Evidence” National Cancer Institute
“Tea and Cancer” by Roderick H. Dashwood, Ph.D., Linus Pauling Institute
“Green Tea” American Cancer Society
“Green tea and endometrial cancer research at UC” University of Canterbury
“Tea and Cancer” Tea Association of Canada
“Tea and cancer prevention: epidemiological studies” by Yuan JM, Sun C, Butler LM. The Masonic Cancer Center, and Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
“Green tea may curb risk of some cancers”
Chado-en’s “Tea research update”
Chado-en’s Tea and Health booklet
“Tea Extracts Help Treat Damaged Skin in Cancer Patients,” BioMed Central (2006, December 1). ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 17, 2009
“Cutaneous photochemoprotection by green tea: a brief review.” Ahmad N, Mukhtar H.Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. 2001 Mar-Apr; 14(2):69-76.
“Topical use of tea benefits skin health”, by Gary Goldfaden, MD, Life Extension Magazine, October 2005.
“The tea spray that can prevent skin cancer”
“Drink Green Tea to Prevent Prostate Cancer” by Dr. Geo Espinosa
“Green Tea and Prostate Cancer”