Jun 19/London/Daily Express -- Drinking tea has a number of health benefits. Now, add one more to the list: a cup of the beverage a day can help slash the risk of developing cancer by shrinking tumors, say researchers.

Previous research has already linked tea's healthy antioxidant properties and high flavonoid content to cutting the risk of some cancers as well as heart disease.

Now, a new study has shown that black tea could help prevent cancer. In the study, U.S. researchers analyzed the compound theaflavin-2 (TF-2), found only in black tea and oolong Chinese tea, which has been shown to kill cancer cells.

The study explored how TF-2 induced cancer cell death and found that it caused such cells to shrink within three hours. When the researchers looked at a specific set of genes that kill cancer cells, TF-2 was found to activate the genes.

The study also showed that TF-2 can suppress the activity of a gene that sparks an inflammatory enzyme known as COX2 while also reducing the activity of other inflammatory molecules, the Daily Express reported.

Tim Bond of the Tea Advisory Panel in the U.K. said, "( The study) has demonstrated that components of black tea can help shrink and kill cancer cells and/or result in helping to reduce the number of tumors."


From the June 20, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.