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The Role of Tea and Citrus Flavanoids in Reducing The Risk of Ovarian Cancer

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Women who are fond of drinking tea and citrus may derive some health benefits from its flavanoid contents. In a recent research conducted by the research team of the University of East Anglia, it has been found out that taking tea and citrus products in your diet can actually reduce the risk for ovarian cancer. Foods that are high in flavanoid contents like flavonols and flavanones are known to reduce the occurrence of epithelial ovarian cancer. This is the fifth leading cause of death due to cancer in women.

Tea & Citrus

The research findings on flavanoids

According to research, women who are taking tea or citrus products have lesser risk to ovarian cancer. The sub-classes of flavanoids known as flavonols and flavanones are deemed responsible in giving this kind of protection. The revealing study was based on the observations made on the dietary habit of participating women between the age of 25 and 55. The study took three decades before the conclusion was made. There were about 171,940 women who participated in the study and were monitored after including drinks and foods with flavonols and flavonones in their diet. Flavonols content are high in tea, apples, red wine, and grapes while flavonones are abundant in citrus products. The finding indicates that high consumption of flavanoids reduces the risk to ovarian cancer.

It can be noted that ovarian cancer significantly affects women's health worldwide, with about 6,500 women affected in the UK each year and 20,000 in the United States. The aim of the research is to conduct a large scale study regarding the habitual intake of tea and citrus among women and its effect to the risk of ovarian cancer. The reduction in the risk to cancer is actually traced to the two sub-groups of flavanoids namely the flavonols and flavonones.

Professor Aedin Cassidy, the lead researcher of the study, referred to tea and citrus products as the main sources of these substances. Two cups of black tea can in fact reduce the risk to ovarian cancer by 31 percent. The said study was the first undertaken with the main focus on the health benefits of flavanoids in fighting off the risk for ovarian cancer. The study likewise studied the effects of polymers and anthocyanins against cancer. Among the anti-cancer mechanisms that can be availed from flavanoids include inhibiting the inflammation, proliferation, metastasis and invasion of apoptosis.

Ovarian cancer prevention

The significance of the study provides the possibility of finding preventive treatment against ovarian cancer. This form of cancer is considered to be a silent killer, causing the deaths of thousands of women each year worldwide. Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed on the later stage of the disease, making the treatment ineffective. About half of the women with ovarian cancer die after five years from the time of diagnosis. This makes ovarian cancer a notorious killer among women. The research finding is promising, giving a better hope to reduce the prevalence of ovarian cancer among women possible. While further research is still needed in order to fully understand how to maximize the benefits of flavanoids, women can, in the meantime, increase their dietary intake of tea and citrus products.

The researchers, however, added that the effects and health benefits of flavanoid against ovarian cancer are also influenced by the differences in lifestyle, agricultural and sociodemographic factors. Moreover, the timing of exposure and the dose of the substances can also influence on the anti-cancer effects of flavanoid diet.