Friday, June 30, 2017

Another Piece of Bad (And Misunderstood) Advice

Who has heard that green tea is good for people with cancer and for preventing cancer? 'Raises hand'

Yes I have heard that. I don't really like green tea that much but I do drink it occasionally. I know people who purposely drink green tea because it is 'better' for them. So here's the bad news:

"Green tea and green tea extracts are widely consumed by patients with cancer. Yet overall there is no clinical evidence that green tea or its chemical components slow tumor progression in humans — and importantly, there is some evidence that green tea compounds might interfere with anticancer treatment."

There is some early stage (stage I) research that suggest green tea intake helps:
- reduce the risk of leukemia, after 20 years of consumption
- reduce the risk of prostate, liver,and endometrial cancers, if you drink 7 cups a day
- reduce the risk of diarrhea if you take the extract, but can increase the risk of skin rash and nausea 

Green tea has also been found to prevent the benefits of chemo (chemopreventive) for breast cancer patients. 

But wait there is more:
"A meta-analysis conducted by Chinese researchers of published epidemiological studies found insufficient evidence to conclude that there is an association between green tea consumption and esophageal cancer, despite a subgroup analysis suggesting a possible risk reduction for women.

"Green tea consumption does not appear to affect the risk of pancreatic cancer."

So the take home conclusion is:

"The evidence base is immature and equivocal. There is limited epidemiologic and lab-experiment evidence that green tea and green tea compounds are capable at high concentrations of affecting tumor biology. There is not, however, substantive clinical evidence that this potential translates to clinically meaningful cancer prevention or treatment benefits in humans."

What this means is that there is no real good evidence saying green tea is really that much better for you and can mess with your cancer treatment.

As a group of people, I think we have learned to quickly grab on to what we see as 'good news' or something 'good' to eat or drink because some study said so. When we need to realize there is a good reason more research is often needed. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How sad