Tea drinking may reduce the risk of oral cancer according to a new study.1 Commenting on this latest study news, Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Tea Advisory Panel notes:
"This was a study evaluating tea consumption and the link with cancer of the mouth.2 People drinking more than two cups of tea daily had a risk which was more than three times lower than for those who drank no tea. Lifelong tea drinkers experienced a massive 60% reduction in cancer risk, a statistically significant finding. There were no differences in risk between men and women, or between smokers and drinkers and those who abstained.
"The beneficial finding may be due to natural antioxidant components in tea which play a role in cell repair.
This is the first large population-based study to evaluate that the role of regular tea consumption in reducing the risk of oral cancer. Further studies in humans are now needed to replicate these findings."
Dr Ruxton adds: "There is far more to the nation’s favourite drink than we realise. Black tea is the number one source of flavonoids - powerful bioactive compounds which help support our body cells. Studies have shown that flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and inhibit cancer cells.3,4 As a result, black tea flavonoids are thought to be responsible for the beneficial effects of black tea on our health. And recent studies show that the flavonoids work their magic whether or not we choose to add milk.
Also commenting on this latest study, Dr Catherine Hood from TAP notes: "Oral cancer is increasing in the UK. The incidence of this condition has steadily increased over the last 20 years with a 66% increase in incidence between 1988-1990 and 2007-2009. By 2030, it is estimated that there will be 9,200 cases of oral cancer in the UK diagnosed per year compared to 6,240 in 2009 and 3,030 in 1984.5,6 Given this huge increase the results of this study are good news for Britain’s tea drinkers.
"As a result, British people should continue to enjoy their traditional life long habit of drinking tea as potential health benefits continue to emerge. This link with reduced oral cancer risk is the latest in a range of health benefits that have been found in research over recent years, including heart health benefits and links with reduced risk of cancers."
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1 Radoï L, Paget-Bailly S, Menvielle G et al. Tea and coffee consumption and risk of oral cavity cancer: Results of a large population-based case-control study, the ICARE study. Cancer Epidemiol. 2013 Feb 27. pii: S1877-7821(13)00022-2. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2013.02.001. [Epub ahead of print]
2 The research involved face-to-face interviews and standardized dietary questionnaires with data from over 4000 study subjects.
3 Ruxton CHS (2009) The health effects of black tea flavonoids. Nutrition and Food Science 39: 283–94
4 Mulvihill EE & Huff MW (2010) Antiatherogenic properties of flavonoids: implications for cardiovascular health. Canadian Journalof Cardiology 26 (Suppl. A): 17A–21A.
5 Cancer Research UK. Oral cancer - UK incidence statistics 2009/10. Online statistics available at http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/oral/
6 Mistry M, Parkin D M, Ahmad A S, Sasieni P. Cancer incidence in the United Kingdom: projections to the year 2030. Br J Cancer 2011; 105: 1795–1803.
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