We’ve covered the health benefits of tea a few times, but this is the first time a research study has ever found an association between health benefits of tea and oral cancer prevention. What’s more surprising is that the study actually included coffee, which dentists usually discourage consumption of due to the fact that it stains teeth.
The research study was conducted in France, where they studied whether consumption of certain beverages could be associated with the incidence of oral cancer. What they found was that the prevalence of oral cancer was markedly lower among study participants who were regular consumers of tea or coffee. As a result, they believe that drinking tea and coffee could decrease the risk of oral cancer through their antioxidant components that are essential to the repair of cellular damage.
The researchers examined the relationship between consuming the beverages and the risk of oral cancer by conducting interviews and administering written surveys to over 4,000 participants in France. Over six hundred of the participants were already diagnosed with oral cancer.
They found an inverse relationship between oral cancer and consumption of tea or coffee, tea in particular. In addition, they found that exclusive consumption of tea or coffee was associated with a decreased risk of oral cancer. There was no difference found in rate of risk between men and women, smokers and non-smokers, or consumers of alcohol and those who never drank alcohol.
Researchers have cautioned, however, that they will need to conduct additional studies to pinpoint the mechanisms underlying this effect of tea and coffee.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Institut national de la santé et de la recherché médicale and the University of Paris-Sud. Their findings were published online on 18 February in the Cancer Epidemiology journal.