Cancer-preventive potential of white tea

hether it has similar qualities. They brewed four varieties of white tea and subjected each to a laboratory test using bacteria. The test, called the Salmonella assay, determines whether a chemical can cause or prevent DNA mutations, the earliest steps leading to cancer.

White tea inhibited mutations more efficiently than green tea. This means it may have more potential to prevent cancer than green tea, says Gilberto Santana-Rios, Ph.D., a post-doctoral research associate with the institute, located in Corvallis, Ore.

The researchers, now performing experiments in rats, report that their latest data indicate that white tea may protect against colon cancer in particular. They attribute this to elevated levels of particular liver enzymes.

The researchers say more studies are needed to determine whether white tea actually protects people against cancer.

"White tea, and tea in general, is a healthy alternative to other popular drinks, such as sodas," says Dashwood. "But to be on the safe side, one should maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, and avoidance of smoking."

Dr. Dashwood is Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology at Oregon State University. He also is Principal Investigator with the university's Linus Pauling Institute.

Dr. Santana-Rios is a post-doctoral Research Associate with the Linus Pauling Institute.

Dr. Santana-Rios will present his paper, TOXI 85, on Wednesday, March 29, at 7:00 p.m. in the Sheraton Palace Concert Ballroom, Lobby Level.


Contact: Charmayne Marsh
American Chemical Society

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