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Green Tea May Lower Lung Cancer Risk
Date:1/12/2010

Benefits seen for smokers, nonsmokers, those with certain genetic makeup

TUESDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Antioxidants in green tea appear to significantly lower the risk for developing lung cancer among smokers and nonsmokers alike, new research from Taiwan reveals.

The study suggests that smokers and nonsmokers who consume a minimum of one cup of green tea per day appear to have a nearly 13-fold and fivefold lower risk, respectively, for developing lung cancer than smokers and nonsmokers who don't drink any green tea.

"The health effect of green tea consumption could modify the risk of lung cancer, particularly among smokers," said study author I-Hsin Lin, of Chung Shan Medical University in Taichung.

Lin and her team are scheduled to present their findings at a lung cancer conference this week in Coronado, Calif. The conference is sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

The observed protective effect seems to result from the strong "antioxidative property" of polyphenols found in green tea preparations.

To determine just how strong this effect might be, the authors assessed the dietary intake and lifestyle habits of 170 lung cancer patients and 340 healthy patients.

The participants completed questionnaires outlining their smoking histories, green tea consumption habits, fruit and vegetable intake, and cooking practices. Patients were also asked to note any family history of lung cancer.

Genetic testing was also conducted to assess which particular insulin-like growth factor genotype -- among several -- each participant possessed.

This analysis was considered crucial, given the author's observation that, independent of green tea consumption, genetically determined hormonal differences can affect how quickly cancer cells spread, thereby predisposing people toward a greater or le
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