Green Tea Lowers Risk of Colon, Stomach, and Throat Cancers

World Tea News

Older and middle-aged women who drank green tea at least three times a week were 14 percent less likely to develop a cancer of the digestive system, according to Canadian researchers who tracked the health of 69,000  Asian women for the past decade.

The report, which was published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests clinical trials be conducted to determine the nature of the protection. Previous studies present mixed results as to whether green tea drinkers really do have lower cancer risks according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Stomach cancer is the fourth most common, and the second most deadly cancer in women. Green tea itself may be the reason, but green tea lovers are often more health-conscious.

“In this large prospective cohort study, tea consumption was associated with reduced risk of colorectal and stomach/ esophageal cancers in Chinese women,” wrote study leader Wei Zheng, who heads epidemiology at Vanderbilt University school of medicine in Nashville, and his colleagues.

But the study did try to account for that, Zheng said. None of the women smoked or drank alcohol regularly, and the researchers also collected information on their diets, exercise habits, weight, and medical history.

Yet even with all these things factored in, women’s tea habits remained linked to their cancer risks, Zheng noted – even though this type of study cannot prove cause and effect.

The Vancouver Sun reported that more than 19,000 of the 69,000 women were considered regular green-tea drinkers (consuming more than three times a week). During the study period of 11 years, 1,255 women developed a digestive system cancer. In general, the risks were somewhat lower when a woman drank green tea often and for a long time.

Women who reported drinking green tea for at least 20 years were 27 per cent less likely than non-drinkers to develop any digestive system cancer. They were also 29 per cent less likely to develop colorectal cancer.

Green tea contains certain antioxidant chemicals, particularly a compound known as EGCG, that may ward off the body-cell damage that can lead to cancer and other diseases.

Source: Windsor Star, Vancouver Sun