Consuming green tea often may lower the risk of digestive cancer

October 29, 2012

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that older women who regularly drink green tea may have slightly lower risks of colon, stomach, and throat cancers than women who don’t drink tea.

The researchers used data from a long-running health study of 69,310 middle-aged and older Chinese women. More than 19,000 were considered regular green-tea drinkers, meaning that they consumed the beverage at least three times per week. None of the women smoked or drank alcohol regularly. And the researchers collected information on their diets, exercise habits, weight, and medical history.

Over 11 years, 1,255 women developed a cancer of the digestive system. The researchers found that in general, the risks were somewhat lower when a woman drank green tea often and for a long time. For example, women who said they’d regularly had green tea for at least 20 years were 27% less likely than non-drinkers to develop any digestive system cancer. And they were 29% less likely to develop colorectal cancer, specifically.

However, the researchers note that this study can’t prove cause-and-effect and there is a need for clinical trials.