Antioxidants found in Green Tea cuts the risk of lung cancer in smokers by 50%

June 05, 2008

     The risk of lung cancer amongst smokers may be decreased by as much as 50 per cent by an increased intake of certain antioxidant flavonoids, according to a new study from UCLA. Increasing intakes of epicatechin, catechins, and Quercetin, found in tea and vegetables were associated with significant risk reductions, according to a study involving 558 patients with lung cancer and 837 healthy people for comparison published in Cancer.
     "What we found was extremely interesting, that several types of flavonoids are associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer among smokers," said lead researcher Zuo-Feng Zhang from UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center. "The findings were especially interesting because tobacco smoking is the major risk factor for lung cancer."

After adjusting the results to account for potential confounding factors, such as age, sex, smoking status and pack-years of tobacco smoking, and race-ethnicity, for example, a significant protective effect was observed for increased intake of epicatechin, catechins, Quercetin, and Kaempferol.
     Specifically, a 10 mg per day increase in epicatechin intake reduced the risk by 36 per cent, a four mg increase in Catechin intake reduced the risk by 51 per cent, a nine mg increase in Quercetin intake reduced the risk by 35 per cent, and a 2 mg increase in Kaempferol intake reduced the risk by 32 per cent.Catechin is found in Green Tea, Kaempferol is found in Brussels sprouts and apples, and Quercetin is found in tea, beans, onions and apple skins. The study is published in the May 15th, 2008 issue of the journal Cancer.