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Herbal Tea can Protect Against Colon Cancer

Update Date: May 12, 2014 04:24 PM EDT

A new study examined the potential health effects of drinking different beverages on varying types of colon cancer. After analyzing the effects of hot coffee, iced coffee, herbal tea and black tea on one's risk of proximal colon, distal colon and rectal cancers, the team concluded that herbal tea was effective in lowering one's risk of getting distal colon cancer.

"Whether or not the relationship between the herbal tea and decreased risk of cancer is a "real" effect needs to be confirmed in other studies," Curtin University Professor Lin Fritschi stated according to Medical Xpress. "One of the reasons people who drink herbal tea may have a reduced risk is that overall, they have a healthier diet than those who don't. The tea might just be a marker for that, not the actual protective factor."

For this study, the researchers examined a case-control study focused on colorectal cancer that was conducted in Western Australia from 2005 and 2007. They used a multivariable logistic regression model to analyze the data. They concluded that drinking black tea, with or without milk, green tea, decaffeinated coffee and milk did not have any effects on colorectal cancer risk.

The team did find that hot coffee was tied to an increased risk of distal colon cancer. However, this finding was inconsistent with other research. The team reported that the link between drinking iced coffee and an increased risk of rectal cancer was also inconsistent with previous literature. Despite the inconsistent findings, the researchers did report that drinking herbal tea at least once a week could be beneficial for health.

"One strength of this study was the use of pathology reports for accurate determination of site-of-cancer origin in the large bowel," Fritschi added. "A further strength was the measurement of tea and coffee, which included the type, frequency and amount consumed."

The study, "Tea, coffee, and milk consumption and colorectal cancer risk," was published in the PubMed.

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