Making smart choices about your diet can go a long way toward lowering your risk of breast cancer. Now it looks like choosing the right beverage can also help: Women who sip green or oolong tea may be able to gain extra breast cancer protection, according to a study published in the journal Anticancer Research.
Researchers at the Saint Louis University in Missouri, led by Chunfa Huang, PhD, an associate research professor in the department of internal medicine, tested extracts of various teas against several types of breast cancer cells. Huang included extracts from green, oolong, black, and other dark teas. His results indicated that green and oolong teas could stop the growth of breast cancer cells; the two types of tea worked equally well against all the cell lines Huang tested. Black and other dark teas had no effect, he says. Check out these 11 other health benefits of green tea.
“From our results, oolong tea, much like green tea, plays a role in inhibiting breast cancer cell growth, proliferation, and tumor progression,” Huang told Medical News Today. Huang also noted that oolong, like green tea, can confer additional benefits to regular drinkers, such as lowering cholesterol, abdominal fat, and it may even offer protection against other types of cancer.
In the second part of his research, Huang compared health statistics in Chinese provinces where oolong tea is popular to areas where people typically drink less. He found that regular oolong drinkers were 25 percent less likely to develop breast cancer; of the women who did, their chances of dying from the disease were half that of women who rarely drank oolong. What’s more, oolong tea drinkers were 68 percent less likely to suffer a premature death. Read up on these 15 breast cancer myths you can safely ignore.
Although more study is needed, says Huang, “the lower incidence and mortality in regions with higher oolong tea consumption indicate that oolong tea has great potential for its anti-cancer properties.” In addition to adding more oolong to your diet, here are 50 more everyday habits that can reduce your risk of breast cancer.