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Monday 24th October 2016

Can lung cancer be blocked by green tea?

13th January 2010

A British cancer charity has warned that research showing that green tea may offer some protection against lung cancer should not be used by smokers as an excuse to continue the habit.


The latest study from a medical university in Taiwan focused on more than 500 people and adds to growing evidence suggesting the beverage has anti-cancer powers.

The findings were presented to a cancer conference in the US, which heard that smokers and non-smokers who drank at least a cup a day cut their lung cancer risk significantly with the greatest protection in people who carried certain types of gene called IGFI.

However, cancer experts said the findings did not change the fact that smoking is bad for health.

Yinka Ebo of Cancer Research UK said: “Smoking tobacco fills your lungs with around 80 cancer-causing chemicals. Drinking green tea is not going to compensate for that.

“Unfortunately, it's not possible to make up for the harm caused by smoking by doing other things right like eating a healthy, balanced diet.

“The best thing a smoker can do to reduce their risk of lung cancer, and more than a dozen other cancer types, is to quit.”

Green tea, from the dried leaves of the Asian plant Camellia sinesis is popular in Asia where cancer rates are generally lower and had led to a link between the two being investigated.

While laboratory studies have shown that extracts from green tea can stop cancer cells from growing, other studies have shown mixed results.


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