Caffeine helps reduce brain cancer risk

A study suggests that people who drink a cup of tea or coffee daily can can slash brain cancer risk.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 17:55 PM IST

People who drink a cup of tea or coffee daily can can slash the risk of a deadly brain cancer, called glioma, by a third, a major study found.

Researchers studied 500,000 men and women over eight years.

As part of the study, volunteers were asked questions about what food and drink they had and also their lifestyle.

The team compared cancer rates among frequent coffee and tea drinkers to volunteers who consumed ­little or no caffeinated hot drinks.

A daily cup of either drink reduced the risk by an average of 34 per cent.

But there were greater benefits for men than women – of 41 per cent compared to 26 per cent. And benefits could be seen after drinking just 100 millilitres – equivalent to two-thirds of a cup.

“We found an inverse association between total tea and coffee consumption and the risk of glioma,” the Daily Express quoted the team as saying.

“These findings, if further replicated in other studies, may provide new avenues of research on gliomas,” the team added.

Scientists believe caffeine may restrict blood flow to the brain and stop tumours growing.

Or it is thought antioxidants in tea and coffee may protect the brain against cancer cells. Antioxidants are chemicals that fight disease.

The report is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

ANI