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  • The Relationship Between Tea Consumption and the Risk of Developing Liver and Pancreatic Cancers

    Much has been made of the health benefits of drinking tea. These are mainly a result of the antioxidant properties of the polyphenols that the teas contain. The antioxidants that are found in green tea are mainly in the form of catechins, whereas black tea, which undergoes a fermentation process during its manufacture mainly contains partially oxidised polyphenols such as theaflavins in addition to catechins. This section of the time for tea and coffee sites looks into the relationship between drinking tea and the reduction in the risks of developing liver and pancreatic cancers.

    Drinking Tea and Pancreatic cancer

    It has been shown that the catechins that are found in green teas are able to suppress the ability of pancreatic carcinoma cells to act aggressively. Additionally research using cancerous human pancreas cells has shown that green tea catechins are able to suppress their growth.

    Drinking Tea and the Risk of Liver Cancer

    Research has shown that drinking a solution of 2% black tea was able to reduce the incidence of induced liver cancer by three fold in rats. Additionally extracts of black and Oolong tea, or those of the catechins found in green tea has been demonstrated to reduce the formation of hepatic preneoplastic foci.

    In humans cohort studies have been done looking into the risk of developing liver cancers in people who drink alcohol and those who smoke. It was found that the risk of developing liver cancer was 78% lower in green tea drinkers for those who drank alcohol; and 43% lower in smokers.

    The existence of both in vivo and cohort studies that show a reduction in liver cancer risks strongly suggests that drinking of black and green teas may have major health benefits in the fight against liver cancer.


    Chung et al. (1998). Inhibition of lung carcinogenesis by black tea in Fischer rats treated with a tobacco specific carcinogen: caffeine as an important constituent. Cancer Research 58: 4096
    Khan and Mukhtar (2007) Tea polyphenols for health promotion. Life Sciences 81: 519 to 533.
    Matsumoto et al. (1996). Inhibitory effects of tea catechins, black tea extract and Oolong tea extract on hepatocarcinogenesis in rat. Japanese Journal of Cancer Research 87: 1034.
    Takada et al. (2002). Suppression of human pancreatic carcinoma cell growth and invasion by epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Pancreas 25: 45 to 48.