Green Tea reduces the risk of gallstones and gall bladder related cancer

July 10, 2006

The biliary tract consists of the gall bladder and bile ducts. The tract stores bile and releases it into the small intestine during meals to help digest fats. Biliary tract cancers are rare but deadly. Some of the risk factors related to increased risk of biliary cancer include obesity, gallstones, smoking, and toxic chemical exposure.

In this study 627 patients with biliary tract cancer, 1,037 patients with gall (or bile duct) stones, and 959 randomly selected healthy people were evaluated. It was found that tea drinkers (having at least one cup a day for at least the last 6 months ) especially women who were Green Tea drinkers had a 27% decreased risk of developing a biliary stone, a 44% decreased risk of developing gall bladder cancer, and a 35% decreased risk of developing bile duct cancer. Smoking may have somewhat decreased this protective effect in men. The study was performed jointly between the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD., the Shanghai Cancer Institute, and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. It is published in the June 15th, 2006 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Studies show it is not the caffeine which helps decrease the risk of developing diabetes but probably the polyphenols.