More than 1.6 million people are diagnosed with cancers in the United States. Nearly 600,000 die from this disease, making it the second leading cause of death in the world. Although sometimes inevitable, the risk of cancer can be lowered. Eliminating risk factors can help prevent 30 to 40% of cancer. This includes eliminating the use of tobacco, increasing physical activity, and maintaining a healthy diet.
Watching what you eat and drink is important. You can avoid harmful chemicals or additives that could potentially enter your body. According to a briefing in the 2022 Tea Symposium, higher intakes of tea consumption could potentially reduce the risk of some cancers.
"While more research needs to be done to determine the optimal dose and duration of tea consumption, the conclusion we can share is that higher intakes of tea consumption may reduce the risk of some forms of cancer," said symposium speaker, Raul Zamora-Ros, PhD, Principal Investigator at the Unit of Nutrition and Cancer, Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), and Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL).
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Zamora-Ros continues to explain that tea is a beverage rich in flavonoids – a type of polyphenol micronutrient that naturally occurs in plants and is a bioactive compound with many anticarcinogenic properties.
"There is strong evidence that some polyphenols have cancer-preventing properties and other properties that are beneficial in fighting cancer such as antioxidant and anti-inflammation," he says.
The power of tea polyphenols
According to Mount Sinai, multiple population-based studies suggest that both green and black teas help protect against cancer. Early clinical studies suggest that the polyphenols in tea, specifically green tea, potentially play an important role in the prevention of cancer. The article further explains that researchers also believe that polyphenols help kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing.
The National Cancer Institute also states that the main polyphenols in green tea, EGCG, EGC, ECG, and EC, as well as the theaflavins and thearubigins in black teas, have antioxidant activity.
Due to these chemicals, the teas may protect cells from DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species. The tea polyphenols also have been shown to prevent tumor cell rapid growth and help cell death in laboratory and animal studies.
Other studies have also shown tea polyphenols to potentially protect against damage caused by ultraviolet B radiation. Furthermore, green teas have been shown to activate detoxification enzymes, which may help protect against tumor development.
Although there are many benefits to tea consumption, there is still inconclusive evidence on the relationship between tea consumption and cancer risk. Therefore, there need to be more studies.
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