According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols in tea have been shown to decrease tumor growth in laboratory and animal studies and may protect against damage caused by ultraviolet UVB radiation.
In countries where green tea consumption is high, cancer rates tend to be lower, but it is impossible to know for sure whether it is the green tea that prevents cancer in these particular populations or other lifestyle factors.
Some studies have also shown the positive impacts of green tea on the following types of cancer:
- colorectal (bowel)
- esophageal (throat)
Researchers believe that it is the high level of polyphenols in tea that helps kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing. However, the exact mechanisms by which tea interacts with cancerous cells is unknown.
However, other studies have not found that tea can reduce cancer risk. The amount of tea required for cancer-preventive effects also varies widely in studies – from 2-10 cups per day.