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May 7, 2007

Drinking Tea Lowers Risk Of Skin Cancer

Topics: Medicine

Red%20tea.pngNo real big surprise here, an antioxidant in tea known as EGCG has been previously shown to reduce burning on UV-exposed skin when applied topically before UVA exposure, and oral consumption of green tea polyphenols have been reported to inhibit chemical carcinogens or UV radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis in different laboratory animal models. However, new research now suggests that people who unwind with a cup of tea every night may have a lower risk of two common forms of skin cancer:

In a study of nearly 2,200 adults, researchers found that tea drinkers had a lower risk of developing squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma, the two most common forms of skin cancer.

Men and women who had ever been regular tea drinkers - having one or more cups a day - were 20 per cent to 30 per cent less likely to develop the cancers than those who didn't drink tea.

The effect was even stronger among study participants who'd been tea fans for decades, as well as those who regularly had at least two cups a day, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

However, the findings do not mean it's okay to bake in the sun as long as you have a cup of tea afterward. The researchers found no evidence that tea drinking lowered skin cancer risk in people who'd accumulated painful sunburns in the past.

Nor did the study look at the relationship between tea drinking and malignant melanoma, the least common but most deadly form of skin cancer.

Still, the findings support the theory that tea antioxidants may limit the damage UV radiation inflicts on the skin, according to the study authors, led by Dr Judy R Rees of Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

In particular, a tea antioxidant known as EGCG has been shown to reduce burning on UV-exposed skin.

The current findings are based on interviews with 770 New Hampshire residents with basal cell carcinoma, 696 with squamous cell carcinoma, and 715 cancer-free men and women the same age.

Tea consumption was linked to a lower skin cancer risk, even with factors such as age, skin type and history of severe burns considered. However, tea drinkers who'd suffered multiple painful burns in the past did not have a lower risk of skin cancer.

Teas can be categorized into 3 types according to the different levels of fermentation: green (unfermented), oolong (partially fermented), and black (fermented). In general, green tea extracts showed stronger antioxidant activity than the semifermented and black tea extracts, mainly because of the higher content of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate.4 The processes used in the manufacture of black tea are known to decrease levels of the monomeric (not linked to other molecules of the same kind) catechins to a much greater extent than the less severe conditions applied to other teas.

Related: Antioxidant Effects of Tea: Evidence from Human Clinical Trials (pdf)

Posted by Richard at May 7, 2007 4:10 PM

i have read so much about green tea benefits. happy to know that i drink one cup of dragonwell green tea.

Posted by: lisa at May 8, 2007 4:16 AM

Spam is very impolite.

Inasmuch as I'm feeling rather benevolent this morning, I'll leave it up for now. But in the future ..........

Posted by: Richard at May 8, 2007 7:10 AM

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