Tea and coffee are two of the world’s most popular beverages – and for people who can tolerate caffeine, these drinks, particularly tea, have considerable health benefits. They’re certainly a better choice than soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages. Now, there’s more good news about drinking tea and coffee – it could prevent brain tumors.
Drinking Tea and Coffee to Prevent Brain Tumors?
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking just under half a cup of either coffee or tea each day helps to prevent brain tumors called gliomas.
After questioning over 500,000 Europeans about their lifestyle habits and following these folks for over eight years, researchers found the risk of gliomas was lower in people who drank 100 milliliters of coffee or tea each day – the equivalent of just under half a cup.
What are Gliomas?
Gliomas are the most common type of cancerous brain tumor in adults, and most people diagnosed with one have a poor prognosis. These tumors, which arise from glial cells, are most common in the brain but can also affect the spinal cord.
Glial cells are special supporting cells that help to support, protect, and nourish nerve cells in the brain. No one knows exactly what causes gliomas, but they’re more common in people with certain genetic conditions, and those who are overweight or tall in stature.
Fortunately, this type of tumor is relatively uncommon. A normal individual has only about a one in one-hundred chance of being diagnosed with a glioma over a lifetime.
Drinking Tea and Coffee Doesn’t Prevent All Types of Brain Tumors
Researchers didn’t find an association between drinking coffee and tea and the risk of another type of brain tumor called a meningioma – the second most common cause of brain cancer. They also didn’t see a dose-related response, meaning the more coffee and tea a person drinks the less likely they are to get a brain tumor. This type of response usually adds more credibility to the findings.
How Does Drinking Tea and Coffee Prevent Brain Tumors?
This study is only preliminary, so it’s too early to say there’s a cause and effect. Tea and coffee contain two components – caffeine and antioxidants – that could play a role in preventing brain tumors.
In one study carried out in the laboratory, caffeine slowed down the growth of brain gliomas. It’s also possible that the antioxidants found in coffee and tea prevent DNA damage that could lead to a malignant brain tumor.
Should You Drink Tea and Coffee to Prevent Brain Tumors?
It’s still too early to say, but tea and coffee in moderation has health benefits – particularly green tea and white tea. Be smart and drink it in moderation, or you could end up with a caffeine buzz.
BeverageDaily.com. “Tea and Coffee May Reduce Brain Tumor Risk”