cheerios

You Decide: Tea and Cancer

There’s been many opposing studies out there about tea and cancer right now. Many are claiming that tea can “prevent” cancer. Some actually say that tea can promote cancer. As always — when human health is involved, there is money to be made. Big brands are just waiting to tack a new label on a product touting the latest health benefits. Take Cheerios for example, if you were to look back at the history of cereal boxes they’ve used you would see messages ranging from “promotes a healthy heart” to “lowers your cholesterol” and “helps prevent cancer.” It seems that for many companies, claiming that their product helps you with the latest health trend is the key to making millions. We’ve seen tea companies jumping in the ring as well. As much as I do not agree with this, there seems to people out there that respond to this and buy tea because of the health benefits. I can even say that I receive at least 10  questions a month asking about the health benefits of tea. Here are a few:

- I can’t sleep at night, what tea can help me?

- What tea can help me lose weight?

- Diabetes runs in my family, what tea can I drink so that I don’t get diabetes?

- I have really bad arthritis, what tea can I drink that will help me?

I’ll let other tea companies tout their tea as medicine and appeal to the health community. To me, and a great many of my friends, tea is a drink to be enjoyed because it tastes great, it is a ritual one goes through to promote peace in life. Tea may be used for medicinal medicine in China as are many herbs, but these methods are not proven, are not approved in the United States by the FDA which is a requirement for one to tout health benefits, and usually do not work. Okay, so that was a bit of a rant, I really wanted to share with you conflicting articles on tea and cancer and let you decide. For every article claiming a benefit of tea, there is an article claiming the opposite. Here goes:

Tea Prevents Cancer:

December 16, 1998: How Green Tea Prevents Cancer

October 25, 2010: Green Tea Helps Prevent Breast Cancer (by 64%!!!!!)

Tea Does Not Prevent Cancer:

October 29, 2010: Tea can Promote Kidney Cancer

October 29, 2010: Green Tea Does not Prevent Breast Cancer

Finally, here is a roundup published by the National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/tea

What do you think?