Green Tea and Cancer
WebMD Live Events Transcript
Does green tea help in the fight against cancer? The American Institute of Cancer Research believes that those concerned about lowering risk for cancer should consider adding green tea to a diet that is rich in a variety of plant foods and low in fat and salt. However the FDA has refused a request to label green tea as a cancer fighter. Thomas A. Gasiewicz, PhD, helped us sort through the claims for and against the green tea cancer connection on Aug. 18, 2005.
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I should also point out that in some studies on humans few if any effects from green tea on cancer have been see. There is really no clear-cut evidence in studies on human populations, only suggestive evidence. There's much experimental evidence from studies on animals, all pointing to a beneficial effect of green tea and its components on the prevention of cancer. In those cases, the evidence is overwhelming and consistent in many experimental situations.
All these factors make interpretation of those studies very difficult, whereas in the experimental animal studies you have a genetically inbred group of animals that can be fed constant or varying amounts of green tea solutions or isolated compounds from green tea, and so we know exactly what these animals are being given.
As I said before, the evidence from these animal investigations are overwhelming, so going back to your question, it would be difficult for many of us scientists to believe all these benefits would occur only in animal studies. There are most likely benefits in human populations. Having said that, we don't know exactly how much green tea any one individual has to consume to have a protective or beneficial effect against certain types of cancer.
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