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

sser general risk for developing lung cancer in the first place.

While emphasizing that both smoking and nonsmoking tea drinkers generally benefited from green tea consumption relative to non-tea drinkers, the team observed that tea drinkers with particular growth factor genotypes seemed to gain even more protection -- as much as 66 percent greater protection compared with tea drinkers bearing a different genetic background.

The findings reflect solely upon the potential interplay of green tea, genetics and lung cancer risk, the researchers noted, leaving aside potential questions regarding black tea consumption.

"Our results suggest the potential health benefits of green tea consumption," concluded Lin. "However, cigarette smoking can serve as an initiator and promoter of carcinogenesis, [so] cessation of smoking is the best way for cancer prevention."

Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, emphatically agreed.

"First of all, this is not a new concept," he observed. "The idea that various antioxidants are protective to the lung has been around for a while, and green tea is a powerful antioxidant. But for us to really know whether or not just one cup can have such an enormous effect, you really have to look at more data and all the other possibly confounding factors, such as whether patients are obese, whether they are leading otherwise healthy lives, that kind of thing."

"Meanwhile, what the American Lung Association is really afraid of," cautioned Edelman, "is that people will look at this and think, 'Oh, well, I can smoke as long as I have a few cups of green tea.' Nothing could be further from the truth. Smoking is extremely toxic, obviously, and extremely detrimental to your health. And nothing changes this fact. So the most important thing here is that we don't want anyone to get the message that it's OK to smoke so long as I drink green tea."

Meanwhile,
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