March 27, 2014
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No link observed between tea consumption, liver cancer

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Consuming black or green tea daily did not reduce the risk for developing liver or other major cancers, according to recent study data.

Researchers performed a meta-analysis of 41 prospective studies with more than 3 million participants that assessed whether a link existed between drinking at least three cups of tea daily and the risk for five major cancers. Using three databases, four articles assessed the relationship between tea drinking and liver cancer; 15 for breast cancer; 15 for colorectal cancer; seven for prostate cancer; and five for stomach cancer.

The pooled overall RR for three cups increment of tea daily for liver cancer was 0.91 (95% CI, 0.74-1.12); the pooled overall RR for breast cancer was 1.02 (95% CI, .98-1.05); pooled overall RR for colorectal cancer was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.93-1.03); pooled overall RR for prostate cancer was 1.02 (95% CI, 0.96-1.09); pooled overall RR for stomach cancer was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.93-1.03). Moderate heterogeneity (P=.1; I2=52.5%) was observed in studies on liver cancer.

Subgroup analysis pooled by sex, tea type, menopausal status and geographic region, however, showed consumption of three cups increment of black tea daily may be a risk factor for breast cancer (RR=1.18; 95% CI, 1.05-1.32).

“The findings from our meta-analysis reveal no appreciable association between tea consumption and the relative risk of liver, stomach, breast, prostate, or colorectal cancers,” the researchers wrote. “There is insufficient information from epidemiologic studies to support the suggestion that tea intake plays a role in the prevention of cancer.”

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.