Appropriately, a team of British researchers found that tea might make a splendid weapon against cancer. In research investigating dietary flavonoids, scientists at the University of East Anglia found that higher intakes of the compounds significantly decrease the risk of women developing epithelial ovarian cancer.
“In particular, just a couple of cups of black tea every day was associated with a 31 percent reduction in risk,” said the study’s leader, Aedin Cassidy, a professor in the Department of Nutrition at UEA’s Norwich Medical School, in a university release. A 2005 study found similar results.
Each year, 20,000 women in the U.S. get ovarian cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s the eight most common cancer among women and the fifth leading cause of cancer death.
“This is the first large-scale study looking into whether habitual intake of different flavonoids can reduce the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer,” said Cassidy. “We found that women who consume foods high in two sub-groups of powerful substances called flavonoids – flavonols and flavanones – had a significantly lower risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer.” Citrus, tea and fruits and juices are the main sources of these compounds, she said.
Cassidy and her team studied the dietary habits of 171,940 women between the ages of 25 and 55 over more than three decades, using information from the Nurses’ Health Studies, among the largest and longest-running investigations into women’s health. The new research was the first to comprehensively examine the six major flavonoid subclasses present in the normal diet with ovarian cancer risk, and the first to investigate the impact of polymers and anthocyanins.