There is new research on green tea, supplements and breast cancer risk. (WKRC File)
There are many lab studies that have shown green tea extract or certain compounds, called polyphenols, in green tea may work against cancer. There are also several studies that show long-term green tea drinkers may lower the risk for certain cancers.
But while the tea itself may have these health benefits, that's not always the case when you try to take the nutrients out of this tea and put them in a pill. A new study in The Journal of Nutrition has a word of caution about green tea extract, also called GTE, and women who choose to take supplements of it to lower the risk of breast cancer.
It's been theorized that GTE might help reduce cancer risk by altering blood levels of hormones and insulin growth factors. Now, this new research says taking these supplements did not alter those hormones or insulin growth factors in ways needed to reduce breast cancer risk.
UC Berkely wellness experts say the NIH funded this study and found this out after comparing the supplement to a placebo in more than 500 women at higher risk for breast cancer. They also found a blood level of what's called estradiol went up compared to the placebo group, and that's actually been associated with increased breast cancer risk in women after menopause.
The authors of this study and the Berkely wellness report made this conclusion that while tea in a cup may have benefits, high doses of green tea extract may have other risks when it comes to cancer.
It's hard to get too much of something from a food or a healthy drink in moderation, but if you take it in pill form, it's always important to know that it may have a different impact.