Sunday, May 06, 2007

Tea drinkers may have lower skin cancer risk

People who drink tea may have a lower risk of two common forms of skin cancer, new research suggests. In a study of nearly 2,200 adults, researchers found that tea drinkers had a lower risk of developing squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma, the two most common forms of skin cancer.

Men and women who are regular tea drinkers, one or more cups a day, were 20 to 30 percent less likely to develop cancers than those who didn't drink tea.

The effect was even stronger among people who have been tea fans for decades, as well as those who regularly had at least two cups a day, according to the findings published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The theory is that tea antioxidants may limit the damage UV radiation inflicts on the skin. In particular, a tea antioxidant known as EGCG has been shown to reduce burning on UV-exposed skin.

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