Study: Tea May Decrease Breast Cancer Risk

Breast Cancer Awareness RibbonA study led by a researcher at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., has indicated that drinking tea may help women under 50 stave off breast cancer. Published in the January issue of the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the study looked at potential links between regular tea consumption and the risk of breast cancer.

Nagi B. Kumar of the Moffitt Cancer Center headed a team – which also included researchers from Dartmouth Medical School (Lebanon, N.H.), the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle) and the University of Wisconsin (Madison) – that surveyed more than 9,500 women ages 20 to 74, some with cancer and others without.  The team conducted phone interviews, asking the women questions about tea consumption and other breast cancer risk factors.

According to an abstract, the results indicated that “tea consumption was not related to breast cancer risk overall.” However, when looking at results only for participants 50 years of age or younger, “those consuming three or more cups per day had a 37 percent reduced breast cancer risk when compared with women reporting no tea consumption.”

While conceding that further work is needed to confirm their conclusion, the team stated: “We observed evidence to support a potential beneficial influence for breast cancer associated with moderate levels of tea consumption (three or more cups per day) among younger women.”

February 16 2009 12:00 pm | Tea and Health

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