|Coffee, tea may reduce risk of brain cancer|
|Written by Lisa Crocco, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 08 December 2010 00:08|
A new study shows regular coffee and tea consumption can reduce a person’s risk of getting brain cancer.
The latest research suggests people who drink as little as a half a cup of coffee or tea each day may lower brain cancer risk by as much as 34 percent, according to a recent USA TODAY article.
“A small amount of coffee or tea led to a big reduction to the occurrence of two types of brain cancer,” Robert Cullen, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences and food, nutrition and dietetics sequence coordinator, said.
The two types of cancer that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of are glioma and meningioma. These cancers both affect the central nervous system, the brain and the spinal cord, the article stated.
“They [glioma and meningioma] are not very common types of cancer. These cancers are not as common as your breast cancer, prostate cancer or colon cancer,” Becky Powell, registered nurse and health educator at the Community Cancer Center in Normal, said.
She also added that, unfortunately, people who have glioma typically do not have very long to live after diagnosis.
The antioxidants that coffee and tea contain may be the largest effect when it comes to the reduction of cancer risk, but the people in the research study ate at the same time, which might be a contributing factor.
Some combination of the two: eating at the same time and drinking tea, might reduce the risk, Powell said.
She also added that a person’s genetics plays a factor in their risk of getting cancer.
There are a number of active compounds in coffee and tea that work on the molecular level of cells and research in the laboratory suggests they prevent diseases, Cullen said.
He added coffee has more antioxidants which can repair damage that occurred in cells and restore the cells to better health.
Coffee is interesting because at times a study will come out that says that it has a negative health effect and other times that it has a positive health effect, Cullen said.
“More recently, all the evidence has been very positive about things like coffee and tea. There are healthy chemicals in them, other than caffeine, that appear to have health benefits in the body,” he said.
Cullen offered some tips for students such as eating a wide variety of foods since it gives a person a large number of healthy chemicals and compounds that the body needs.
“It is hard to point to one thing that led to the lower risk reduction. It is interesting but a lot more research needs to be done before they can come out and say that it does lower brain cancer risk,” Powell said.
The lead researcher, Dominique S. Michaud of Brown University’s department of community health in Providence, is behind the recent study that was published in the November issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, according to the article.