Green Tea Reduces Risk of Digestive System Cancers
Tea leaves contain compounds called polyphenols or natural chemicals that include catechins. Catechins like EGCG and ECG have been found to possess antioxidant properties which may prevent cancer by reducing DNA damage and by blocking the growth and invasion of tumor cells.
A new study demonstrates that women who drink green tea may be less likely to develop certain types of cancers in the digestive system. Researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center led by Sarah Nechuta, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor of Medicine, report that regular consumption of green tea reduces the risk of developing cancer of the esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum in women. The results of the study were recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The researchers analyzed data from a survey done on women participating in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study. This is a large, population-based study involving about 75,000 middle-aged and older Chinese women. The study only included women who did not smoke or drink alcohol. Participants were asked about their tea consumption, a common practice among the group, and most of them reported taking green tea regularly.
The researchers defined regular tea consumption as drinking it at least 3 times a week for more than 6 months, and found that this was associated with a 17 % reduced likelihood of developing all types gastrointestinal cancers combined. Those who drank more than these found a greater risk reduction for the disease, such that those who drank 2-3 cups of green tea daily showed a 21% reduced chance of having cancer in the digestive tract.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Green tea found to reduce rate of some GI cancers. ScienceDaily.