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Tea: the wellness cuppa

Benefits of drinking tea are plenty. The detox quality of tea is well known, but recently researchers have discovered that the beverage can also help prevent cancer.

health and fitness Updated: Jun 22, 2011 01:30 IST

Benefits of drinking tea are plenty. The detox quality of tea is well known, but recently researchers have discovered that the beverage can also help prevent cancer. A new US research has found out that you can cut down the risks of developing if you have a cup of the beverage daily, as tea helps shrink cancerous tumours. Tim Bond of the Tea Advisory Panel in the UK said, “The study has demonstrated that components present in the black tea can help shrink and kill cancer cells and/or result in helping to reduce the number of tumours.”



Previous researches have already linked tea’s healthy antioxidant properties and high flavonoid content to cutting the risk of some cancers as well as heart disease. Now, a new study has shown that black tea (a type of tea that is more oxidised in comparison to Oolong, green, and white varieties) can stop cancerous cells from developing. Based on this finding the researchers recommend consuming tea daily.



Green Tea

In the study, US researchers analysed the compound Theaflavin-2 (TF-2), found only in black tea and Oolong Chinese tea, which has been shown to kill cancer cells.



The study went on to explore how TF-2 induced cancer cell death and found that it caused such cells to shrink within three hours. When the researchers looked at a specific set of genes that kill cancer cells, TF-2 was found to activate the genes.



The study also showed that TF-2 can suppress the activity of a gene that sparks an inflammatory enzyme that is known as COX2 while also reducing the activity of other inflammatory molecules. “These findings suggest the need for clinical trials to evaluate the effect of black tea and its components on the risk of cancer in humans. New studies are needed to shed further light on clinical applications of black tea ingredients,” said Bond.