"The causes of cancer are multi-faceted, with inherited genes, workplace causes, sun and pollution exposure, hormones, infection exposure, smoking, alcohol intake, diet, physical activity levels and body weight all posing a potential risk.1 Tea drinking, however, does not increase cancer risk. In fact, black and green tea consumption have been associated with reduced lung cancer risk in a large published meta-analysis.2
"As with most foods and drinks there can be media scruples. When these relate to tea and cancer concerns actually relate to mate and the temperature at which hot beverages are consumed, not to green and black tea. In one recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition3 data was pooled from18 prospective studies which evaluated the influence of black and green tea consumption on all causes of death, cardio vascular disease and cancer. For cancer deaths, the overall risk was reduced by 21% in the highest tea consuming group compared with the lowest (black tea).
"So, when the next headline on tea and cancer comes around it’s important to bearing in mind the ‘totality’ of the evidence - in the long and short of it tea drinking when drank at the right temperature and as traditional black, green, oolong or herbal is more likely to protect against rather than cause cancers."
2 Wang L et al. (2014) Tea consumption and lung cancer risk: a meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies Nutrition 30(10):1122-7.
3 Tang J et al. (2015) Tea consumption and mortality of all cancers, CVD and all causes: a meta-analysis of eighteen prospective cohort studies. Br J Nutr. 114(5):673-83.
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