Smokers could significantly reduce their chances of suffering from lung cancer by drinking green tea, according to a study.
The research showed that smokers who drank at least one cup of the antioxidant-rich drink a day were nearly 13 times less likely to suffer from the disease compared to those who drank no green tea. Both smokers and non-smokers reduced their chances of developing the disease five-fold by drinking green tea.
I-Hsin Lin, lead researcher from Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan, a country where green tea is popular, said: "Our study may represent a clue that in the case of lung cancer, smoking-induced carcinogenesis could be modulated by green tea consumption and the growth factor environment."
The 170 lung cancer patients and 340 healthy individuals who participated in the study were questioned on their smoking habits, green tea consumption, diet and family history. They were also tested for growth factors, or biological chemicals, that stimulate cell growth, known to be associated with cancer.
And green tea drinkers who are genetically predisposed to have less harmful growth factor variants were 66% less likely to develop lung cancer than tea drinkers with a more hazardous version.