Monday, March 02, 2009

Drinking two cups of black tea a day can 'help ward off ovarian cancer'

The International Journal of Gynaecological Cancer appears to have no internet presence so this study is a bit hard to judge but it seems to be rubbish. The finding appears to be that American women who drink tea have less cancer. But coffee is America's drink so these were probably pretentious middle class women and middle class women are healthier anyway

Researchers believe drinking two cups a day cuts women's risk of ovarian cancer. Drinking tea can cut the risk of ovarian cancer by up to a third, researchers have said. A study found women drinking at least two cups a day of black tea had a 30 per cent drop in risk. It is thought antioxidant compounds found in tea - catechins and theanins - contribute to improved blood vessel function.

The study was carried out in the U.S. with 414 women, half of whom had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The findings were released in the International Journal of Gynaecological Cancer before the start of ovarian cancer month in March. This aims to raise awareness of the disease, of which there are more than 6,600 new cases in the UK each year. About 4,400 women die each year from the illness, which claims the lives of more than 85 per cent of patients when found at a late stage. But detection in the early stages means 95 per cent of sufferers will survive.

Dr Catherine Hood, from the industry-backed Tea Advisory Panel, said an earlier Swedish study involving over 61,000 women made similar findings. It showed those who drank two or more cups of tea daily had a 46 per cent lower risk of the disease compared with those who never or seldom drank tea.

Alex Ford, chief executive of The Eve Appeal, which supports patients with gynaecological cancers, said women should be aware of the signs of ovarian cancer, especially those over 50. She said: `Traditionally, early diagnosis was difficult as experts didn't agree on the symptoms and they are easily mistaken for other, much more common and less serious conditions. `But there's been more research, and scientists and doctors have agreed on what advice to give women.'

It has been previously found that the health benefits of tea are not affected by adding milk.


How suncream made from coffee could prevent skin cancer

This is interesting but only an early-stage finding

Suncream made from coffee, chocolate or tea could one day prevent the most common form of skin cancer, researchers say. A study has shown that caffeine protects the skin against ultraviolet rays from the sun - and reduces the risk of cells becoming cancerous. In laboratory tests, caffeine encouraged UV-damaged cells to 'commit suicide' but left healthy cells undamaged, a team of American researchers report.

Skin cancer is the fastest growing form of the disease in the UK. Rates have quadrupled for men, and tripled for women in the past 25 years. Each year 8,000 cases of malignant skin cancer - the most dangerous form - are diagnosed, leading to almost 2,000 deaths.

Past studies have suggested that drinking plenty of coffee can reduce the risk of skin cancer by one third, while animal tests have shown that caffeine encourages damaged skin cells to self-destruct. The latest research at the University of Washington in Seattle - reported in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology - looked at the effects of caffeine on human cells after they were exposed to UV light.

Scientists found that caffeine interferes with a key part of the cell's internal clock called 'checkpoint' ATR-Chk1. This helps monitor the cell as it divides. If it spots DNA damage during the division cycle, it stalls the cycle to allow the DNA to be repaired, or orders the cell to self-destruct.

Dr Paul Nghiem, who led the research, said: 'These data suggest that topical application of caffeine or another ATR-Chk1 pathway inhibitor, perhaps in a sunscreen or after-sun preparation, could be investigated as an approach to minimise or reverse the effects of UV damage in human skin.'


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