Thursday, October 28, 2010

New study calls green tea's breast cancer benefit into question

A new study out of  Japan found that middle-age and older women who drank 10 or more cups of green tea a day did not  have a lower breast cancer risk than women who drink half a cup or less a week. According to researcher Dr. Motoki Iwasaki, a cancer epidemiologist at the National Cancer Center in Japan, the study's findings suggest that, "green tea intake, within a usual drinking habit, is unlikely to reduce the risk of breast cancer." While other studies have found green tea to have a beneficial effect, Iwasaki says this is not the first study to disprove the connection.

So why have some studies in the past suggested their is a benefit? Dr. Qi Dai, a cancer epidemiologist at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Tennessee suggests that green tea may provide protection against breast cancer for women in specific age groups or with certain genetic makeup.

But Iwasaki doesn't think the conflicting evidence means we should stop drinking it. There are many types of green tea, but all contain antioxidants called polyphenols that neutralize toxic free radicals in the body. Studies have linked the tea to a decreased risk of other types of cancers, including bladder, ovarian, stomach and colorectal cancers, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Am I confusing people by posting all these conflicting studies? I hope not. I'm trying to stay on top of research so that we can be informed about the potential for solid breakthroughs. So I will keep drinking green tea and reminding people to maintain a healthy bodyweight and watch their alcohol consumption. Anyone got a study to disprove those last two?!


  1. Cyn, wish I could disprove those last two! Always so many studies and contradicting ones at that! Thanks for this update on green tea.

  2. I agree that this is confusing... sometimes I feel that people can find a study to support any lifestyle... so I am jumping on the overweight, sedentary, soused, junk food and caffeine bandwagon! :-)

  3. NOOOOOOOOOOO! Jump on the healthy weight, moderately active, occasionally soused, occasionally crap-eating, judicious caffeine use bandwagon. It's much more boring but the company is better. We know how to share. :-)

  4. I wonder if the benefits of green tea might in part be attributed to the fact that if you are drinking green tea you may not be drinking something more harmful. It may not be the green tea per se but rather the fact you are not swilling all that red wine.