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Research evidence does not support a link between green tea consumption and reduced risk of breast cancer, reports Dr Motoki Iwasaki in a study of 53,793 Japanese women. The survey, conducted from 1995 to1998, included questions regarding green tea consumption. The second part of the survey even asked the women to identify the type of green tea consumed: Sencha or Bancha/Genmaicha.


Iwasaki, from the Epidemiology and Prevention Division at the Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening of the National Cancer Center in Tokyo, explains that "Our findings suggest that green tea intake within a usual drinking habit is unlikely to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Twenty-seven percent of the women surveyed reported drinking 5 or more cups of green tea per day, whereas 12% drank less than 1 cup of green tea per week. However, some participants reported drinking 10 or more cups per day. These same women for monitored for over 14 years, and 350 of them developed breast cancer. Thus, the researchers concluded no association between drinking green tea and a reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer.


However, Dr Stephanie Bernik, a breast cancer surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, noted that the benefits of green tea may not relate directly to breast cancer. Bernik emphasizes that women in the United States are examining alternative therapies and lifestyle changes related to a healthier lifestyle, including strategies to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Drinking green tea is one alternative strategy.


Jennifer Hu, a professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Miami School of Medicine's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, does not see the study as conclusively negating the relationship between breast cancer risk and green tea. She cautions that the population-based study may not consider all other risk factors contributing to breast cancer development. She also adds that simply drinking green tea may not provide enough of the cancer-fighting ingredient.1




1. Reinberg S. Study finds green tea offers no protection from breast cancer. HealthDay: News for Healthier Living. October 28, 2010. Available at Accessed November 1, 2010. [Context Link]


Source: Large study sees no breast cancer benefit from green tea. ANA Smart Brief. October 29, 2010. Available at Accessed November 1, 2010.


Submitted by: Robin E. Pattillo, PhD, RN, CNL, News Editor at