Green Tea and Skin Cancer
Lotion Or Beverage?

Two studies about green tea and skin cancer explained why both tea lotion and beverage may protect against non-melanoma skin cancer.

Tea Lotion Study

In the first study, Dr. Zigang Dong, who led the research in University of Minnesota, United States, applied tea chemicals on laboratory animals before exposing them to UK light.

The enzyme JNK-2, or junk-2, has been known to cause non-melanoma skin cancer, the most common of skin cancer. It was found that putting the chemical directly onto the animals' skin decreased the level of the harmful enzyme.

"We feel this is an important step in improving the prevention of skin cancer. Topical application of certain tea polyphenols appears to block a key process that leads to skin cancer."

"Drinking tea may help, but you'd have to drink a large amount to accumulate in the skin, perhaps as many as 10 cups a day. It's easier to concentrate it in a cream form, and it's probably more effective."

“Human tests of the proposed skin cream could begin in a few years. Other creams were already available but were unlikely to have undergone testing.”

It is not yet known if the chemicals will help tackle malignant melanoma, the least common but most deadly type of skin cancer.

This green tea and skin cancer study was published in the American Chemical Society in 2003.

Tea With Lemon

green tea and skin cancerDrinking just two cups of tea per day can help reduce your risk of developing skin cancers.

Adding lemon peel to your tea, which is more common in United States than in the UK, helps boost tea's anti-cancer properties.

Scientists at Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire, studied the tea-drinking habits of 1,400 people with skin cancer and 700 who had not developed the disease.

The skin cancer patients consist of 770 adults with basal cell carcinoma and 696 with squamous cell carcinoma.

The study asked the people with cancer, plus the healthy group - all aged between 25 and 74 - about diet, lifestyle and their consumption of both green and black teas.

Those who drank two or more cups a day had a 65% lower risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. Drinking tea also appeared to protect against basal cell carcinoma, but to a lesser degree.

Writing in the journal, the team led by Dr. Judy Rees, said: "The constituents of tea have been investigated for their activity against a variety of diseases and cancers. "But the most potent appear to be polyphenols [antioxidants]."

This green tea and skin cancer study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2007.


Judy R. Rees, B.M., B.Ch., Ph.D. Therese A. Stukel, Ph.D., Ann E. Perry, M.D., Michael S. Zens, Ph.D., Steven K. Spencer, M.D. and Margaret R. Karagas, Ph.D (2007). Tea consumption and basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer: results of a case control study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 May; 56(5): 781–785.

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