A new study from the University of California, Los Angeles suggests that a daily cup of green tea may help prevent chronic stomach inflammation that can lead to stomach cancer. In a study of more than 600 Chinese men and women, researchers found that green tea drinkers were about half as likely as non-drinkers to have stomach cancer or gastritis. In China, stomach cancer is the most common cancer among men and women.
The study suggests that using green tea to treat chronic gastritis and as a preventive therapy in high-risk populations may reduce the incidence of stomach cancer in the long term.
Experts believe that a number of factors can raise the risk of stomach cancer--including diets high in smoked and salted meats but low in produce and fibre, smoking, family history of the disease and previous stomach surgery. In addition, infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which can cause chronic gastritis and ulcers, has been linked to stomach cancer--although the vast majority of people who harbour the bacteria do not develop the cancer. How green tea might protect the stomach is unclear. The beverage contains antioxidants, which help prevent damage to healthy cells.
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