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  • The Link Between Tea Consumption and Skin Cancer: Green Tea Extract Facts

    The consumption of tea has many health benefits, these are largely down to the antioxidant properties of the polyphenols that they contain (theaflavin, catechins). Tea, especially green tea is also known to have a positive impact upon both the prevention and combat of cancers. Much as been made of the ability of compounds in green tea to combat skin cancers. In fact research into the topical application of green tea extracts on the skin of animals has been shown to protect against the initiation of tumour in the skin.

    Skin Cancer and Green Tea Extracts

    As mentioned the topical application of green tea extract polyphenols has been shown to inhibit the initiation of tumors, additionally it is able to inhibit the promotion of UV light induced skin carcinogens. Research into the oral consumption of green tea polyphenols in mice has shown that their consumption leads to a lowering of the incidence of ultra violet light induced skin tumours and to the multiplicity and growth of tumours.

    In addition to the inhibition of skin cancer development the use of green and or black tea polyphenols was shown to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors and in some circumstances actually led to a reduction in the size of the tumour. Another aspect of green tea polyphenols is that they are able to reduce papillomas being malignantly converted to squamous cell carcinomas.

    Prevention of Skin Cancer by Tea Extracts in Humans

    Much as been made of the preventative aspects of green tea extracts in laboratory research, but what of their effects in humans? Cohort research into tea extracts and the incidence of skin cancers carried out in Italy has strongly suggested that black tea can reduce the creation of squamous cell carcinomas and hence reduce the risk of cancer. It therefore seems that both black and green tea polyphenols will have a positive impact upon the fight against skin cancers.

    Conney et al (1999) Inhibitory effect of green and black tea on tumor growth. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 220: 229
    Hakim and Harris (2001). Joint effects of citrus peel use and black tea intake on the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. BMCDermatology 1, 3
    Khan and Mukhtar (2007) Tea polyphenols for health promotion. Life Sciences 81: 519 to 533
    Mukhtar and Ahmad (2000). Tea polyphenols: prevention of cancer and optimizing health. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71: 1698S to 1702S.
    Wang et al. (1989). Protection against polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced skin tumor initiation in mice by green tea polyphenols. Carcinogenesis 10 (2), 411 to 415.