In alternative medicine, just as in any form of medicine, it’s as important to understand what may not work as it is what may. And in medical circles, green tea keeps going around…in circles.
Green tea has been found in many studies to exert protective effects in the body. That protection has extended to cancer. Green tea is steeped in history, and is believed to be the first tea ever created — by an ancient Chinese emperor, no less. But it also has come with quite a bit of contention throughout the decades, as regulatory bodies are hesitant to come out and say that it is good for disease prevention.
A new study took aim at green tea and breast cancer, one of the most common tumors on the globe. It included about 54,000 women and was published in the new issue of “Breast Cancer Research.” And it found there was no link between drinking green tea and your risk of getting breast cancer.
So, for any women out there, particularly those at higher risk of the disease, it wouldn’t be a good idea to rely on green tea in any serious way for shielding yourself from breast cancer.
Many studies in the lab and on animals have suggested that green tea may have beneficial protective effects against breast cancer. But results from human studies have been far less conclusive.
The new study, a large one that is based on a large population of people, is believed to be one of the first to include a wide range of tea intakes. It spread from women who drank less than one cup of green tea a week to 10 or more cups a day (a true tea lover). Overall, regardless of the level of tea consumed, there appeared to be no link to breast cancer prevention.
About 12% of women drank less than one cup a week, while more than double (27%) drank five or more cups per day. The study had a good design and its result is to be taken seriously. Drinking green tea is, the researchers say, unlikely to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
And on and on we go. Green tea is still a healthy beverage, but its cancer preventative qualities are still being put to the test.