tea is widely consumed in Asian countries, especially China
and Japan. It has been suggested that green tea has a
protective effect against the development of stomach
adenocarcinoma, the second leading cause of cancer death
throughout the world. Although laboratory experiments and some
case-control studies have shown that some chemicals extracted
from green tea may inhibit development of several types of
cancer, a recent study published in the New England Journal of
Medicine did not confirm such preventive effects.
Dr. Yoshitaka Tsubono and colleagues from the Department of
Public Health and Forensic Medicine at Tohoku University
Graduate School of Medicine conducted a large
population-based, prospective cohort study in three
municipalities in northern Japan. A total of 26,611
individuals were studied between January 1988 and December
1992. The majority of the studied subjects were 40 years of
age or older. All patients were required to complete a self-
administered questionnaire that included questions about the
frequency and amount of green tea consumed, and were followed
up with screening examinations for adenocarcinoma of the
stomach for at least 8 years.
the 8-year follow-up, approximately 420 patients were
diagnosed with stomach cancer. Of these patients, 296 were men
and 123 were women. The incidence of stomach cancer among all
the studied subjects was analyzed by utilizing several
sophisticated statistics models, and the relative risk of
gastric cancer according to the consumption of green tea was
estimated. The researchers found that green tea consumption
does not decrease the risk of gastric cancer. Individuals who
drink one or two, three or four, and five or more cups of
green tea daily have a similar risk of developing stomach
carcinoma as people who drink less than one cup per day.
conclusion, in a prospective cohort study, we found no
association -- inverse or otherwise -- between the consumption
of green tea and the risk of gastric cancer in Japan,"
said Dr. Tsubono.
Reference: Green tea and the risk of gastric cancer in Japan.
New England Journal of Medicine 2001 Mar 1; 344 (9):632-6
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