Can Green Tea Reduce the Rate of Some G.I. Cancers in Women?

New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that women who drink green tea may lower their risk of developing some digestive system cancers such as stomach/esophagus and colorectal cancers. Researchers surveyed approximately 75,000 middle-aged and older Chinese women enrolled in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study and determined whether or not they drank tea, and if so, the type and amount of tea consumption. Most reported they drank green tea. Women who drank alcohol or smoked were eliminated to minimize the influence of these factors.

Researchers found that regular green tea consumption , defined as tea consumption at least three times a week for more than 6 months, was associated with a 17 % reduction in the risk of all digestive cancers combined. A further increase in tea drinking also lead to an increased reduction in digestive system cancers. For example, those who drank about 2 or 3 cups per day (at least 150 grams of tea per month) had a 21% reduced risk of digestive system cancers and this was strongest for stomach esophageal and colorectal cancers. In addition, the researchers said “For all digestive system cancers combined, the risk was reduced by 27 percent among women who had been drinking tea regularly for at least 20 years. For colorectal cancer, risk was reduced by 29 percent among the long-term tea drinkers. These results suggest long-term cumulative exposure may be particularly important.”  Researchers found that regular tea drinkers were younger, had higher educational levels, exercised more, and consumed more fruit and vegetables and tried to adjust for these factors.

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