Monday, 21 November 2011

News Brief: hot, strong tea can cause cancer - herbal doctor

Acknowledging that drinking tea can help suppress cancer, traditional Chinese medical practitioner Hsu Rui-hsiang (許瑞香) told a symposium that drinking it hot can increase the risk of getting cancer, the TW News reported last Friday (full Chinese-language article here). 

Hsu said that tea leaves are by nature “cooling” and possess a bittersweet taste, and by containing selenium can help remove free radicals from the body. Green tea is by nature “neutral” and by taste “sweet”, and its polyphenols can suppress cancer, lower cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. Furthermore, tea contains caffeine, vitamins and anti-oxidants, which can prevent cells being damaged by carcinogens.

Recent research reported this year, however, suggests that drinking hot strong tea can increase the risk of getting cancer. If the temperature is higher than 80, tea could scold the oesophagus, allowing tannins in the tea to cause damage, possibly leading to mutations and hence to cancer, Hsu said.

                                                                               Text and photos © Jiyue Publications 2011

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