Is it possible that tea and citrus products may lower your risk for ovarian cancer? New research says yes. Loading up on tea and grapefruit just might prevent ovarian cancer.
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the United Kingdom found that women who consumed food and drinks high in two types of flavonoids significantly decrease their risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer, UniversityHerald.com reported.
Epithelial ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women. Each year, about 20,000 women are diagnosed with the disease.
The two types of flavonoids are flavonols and flavanones.
Flavonols are found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale, in beverages like tea and red wine, and in fruits like apples and grapes.
Flavanones are most often found in citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.
Lead author Professor Aedin Cassidy from UEA's Norwich Medical School and Professor Shelley Tworoger, from the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School used data derived from the Nurses' Health Study.
They examined the dietary habits of nearly 172,000 women between ages 25 and 55 for more than three decades.
To calculate the participants' dietary intake, the researchers analyzed food-frequency questionnaires that were collected every four years. They found that the main dietary sources of flavonols were black tea, onions and apples, while the main sources for flavanones were citrus fruits and juice.
The women whose diets consisted of many flavonols and flavanones showed markedly lower rates of cancer.
Researchers found that drinking just a couple of cups of black tea every day was associated with a 31 percent reduction in risk, stated ScienceDaily.com.
Flavonoids are natural compounds that help protect blood vessels from leakage, prevent cells from suffering oxidative stress, and stave off inflammation in the body. Without them, the body succumbs to easy bruising and frequent colds or infection. Their absence may also contribute to a greater risk for ovarian cancer.