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Drinking coffee or tea may lower brain cancer risk: study

10-21-2010 10:45 BJT

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- Daily consumption of coffee or tea may reduce chances of developing brain cancer, said a new study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The conclusion is based on analysis of data concerning the dietary habits of more than 410,000 men and women between the ages of 25 and 70, according to the study conducted by an international team of researchers.

The study involved participants from France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Britain, Greece, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany.

Participants were recruited between 1991 and 2000, and were tracked over the course of about 8.5 years. During that time, food surveys were completed to gauge, among other things, the amount of tea and coffee each participant consumed.

During the study, 343 new cases of glioma were diagnosed, as were 245 new cases of meningioma, another cancer that affects tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

The findings show that coffee and tea may protect against brain cancer, specifically in the form of glioma, a cancer of the central nervous system that originates in the brain and/or spinal cord.

By stacking drinking patterns against brain cancer incidence, the research team found that drinking 100 mL (or 0.4 cups) per day and above lowered the risk of gliomas by 34 percent.

The protective effect appears to be slightly stronger among men, the team observed, and seems to apply solely to gliomas.

Dr. John S. Yu, director of the Brain Tumor Center of Excellence at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said the finding was "striking."

"If we had a drug for any disease that could demonstrate a risk reduction of 34 percent, that would be considered a great drug. That degree of risk reduction is very strong," he said.

But he said "it has not yet been established whether or not this is directly causative -- (in other words, whether) drinking caffeine directly reduces disease risk -- or whether this is actually about an association between other factors concerning the type of people who drink a certain amount of coffee and risk reduction. More research is needed to figure that out."

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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