It’s been called the “Asian Paradox.” Why do people living in Asia, where tobacco consumption is high, have some of the world’s lowest rates of lung cancer death? In Korea, for example, the rate of lung cancer mortality per 100,000 men is less than 40, compared to 67 in U.S. men. Yet 37 percent of Korean adults smoke, compared to 27 percent of U.S. adults. Why are the Koreans so lucky? Perhaps it’s because they drink plenty of green tea.
While epidemiological studies of the tea/lung cancer connection have provided mixed results (perhaps because of differences in tea preparation), most animal studies show that green tea strongly prevents the development of cancerous tumors of the lung. Researchers believe it does so by:
- quenching free radicals
- protecting the DNA from damage
- inhibiting cancer cell division (cell cycle arrest)
- reducing the growth of new blood vessels
- inducing apoptosis (“cell suicide”)
To learn more, click on these key lung cancer studies and expert opinions:
KEY HUMAN STUDIES
- 1) Green Tea’s Lung Cancer Fighting Ability May Be Tied to Specific Genetics
A 2005 case-control study found that green tea may significantly reduce the risk of developing lung cancer in those with a specific genetic makeup that makes them more susceptible to oxidative stress.
2) Green Tea Guards Against Lung Cancer in Nonsmokers
A 2001 case-control study presented in the journal Epidemiology found that drinking green tea reduced the risk of developing lung cancer in nonsmoking women.
KEY ANIMAL STUDIES
- 1) Green Tea Slows Growth of Lung Cancer and Speeds Cancer Cell Death
KEY LABORATORY STUDIES
- 1) Green Tea Protects Cells From Cancer-Causing DNA Damage