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 (a type of tea that is more oxidized in comparison to Oolong, green, and white varieties) can stop cancerous cells from developing. Based on this finding the researchers recommend consuming tea daily.
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 went on to explore 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 that is known as COX2 while also reducing the activity of other inflammatory molecules. “These findings suggest the need for clinical trials to evaluate the effect of black tea and its components on the risk of cancer in humans. New studies are needed to shed further light on clinical applications of black tea ingredients,” said Bond.
From the June 23, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.