According to a study, oolong tea can fight breast cancer cells. Studies have also shown that women who drink a lot of oolong tea have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Can Oolong Tea Help Against Breast Cancer?
Despite all preventive medical check-ups, screenings for early detection, and the most modern therapies, breast cancer remains the most common form of cancer and also one of the most common causes of death in women.
Since the usual therapies such as chemotherapy, anti-hormonal treatment, and radiation have strong side effects, there is a feverish search for alternatives – both for therapy and prevention.
Green tea is often recommended for preventive purposes, as some of its ingredients have anti-cancer properties. Studies on other types of tea and their possible effects on breast cancer, on the other hand, are rare.
dr Chunfa Huang, professor, and internist at Saint Louis University in Missouri, therefore examined oolong tea, a semi-fermented tea that is somewhere between green and black tea in terms of fermentation time. The study results were published in November 2018 in the journal Anticancer Research.
Oolong tea and green tea inhibit breast cancer cells while black tea does not
Huang and his research team now examined the effect of different tea extract types (green tea, black tea, oolong tea) on six breast cancer cell lines, including ER-positive (possess estrogen receptors), PR-positive (possess progesterone receptors), HER2-positive (possess so-called human epidermal growth factor Receptors 2) and triple-negative breast cancer cells (have none of the three previously mentioned receptors).
The ability of the cells to survive and divide, possible DNA damage, and other features in the morphology (shape) of the cells were examined. The green tea and oolong tea extracts were able to stop the growth of all breast cancer cell types. Black tea and other types of dark tea, on the other hand, had no effect on the cells.
Professor Huang concluded:
“Oolong tea – just like green tea – can cause DNA damage in the cancer cell, also cause the cell to ‘rupture’ and inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, their spread, and tumor formation. Oolong tea, therefore, has potential as a natural anti-cancer agent.”
Women who drink a lot of oolong tea have a lower risk of breast cancer
Additionally, Huang’s team looked at how oolong tea consumption affected breast cancer risk. It showed that women from the Chinese province of Fujian (the original home of oolong tea, which is why it is believed that much oolong tea is still drunk there) had a 35 percent lower risk of breast cancer and a 38 percent lower risk of dying from breast cancer compared to the average for all of China.