London: It may be packed with anti-oxidants but green tea does not protect against breast cancer, a study has revealed.
Previous research on both animals and human cells had suggested the hot drink could boost the body`s defences against the cancer. However, the latest analysis looking at 54,000 women found no association between drinking green tea and breast cancer risk, reports dailymail.co.uk.
Motoki Iwasaki at the National Cancer Center, Tokyo, worked with a team of researchers to carry out the study.
"Results from human studies have been inconclusive. Our large-scale, population-based prospective cohort study is one of the first to include a wide range of tea intakes - women who drank green tea less than one cup per week to those who drank 10 or more cups per day," he said.
"It found no overall association between green tea intake and the risk of breast cancer," he added.
The study assessed tea intake by a questionnaire, once at the beginning of the study and then again five years later.
Cancer incidence was assessed by notification from major local hospitals in the study area and population-based cancer registries.
Approximately 12 percent of women drank green tea less than one cup per week while 27 percent drank five or more cups per day.
Speaking about the survey, Iwasaki said, "The other major strength of the present study was its prospective design, in which information was collected before the subsequent diagnosis of breast cancer, thereby avoiding the exposure recall bias inherent to case-control studies."
"Drinking green tea as a beverage is unlikely to reduce the risk of breast cancer regardless of green tea type and number of cups," he added.