A new meta-analysis has reported that drinking more than three cups of green tea per day is associated with a 27% reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence. The study was designed to investigate the association between drinking green tea and breast cancer risk and recurrence, using all available epidemiologic evidence to date. Green tea, which is consumed frequently in Asia, has been reported to have anti-inflammatory and possible anticarcinogenic properties in laboratory experiments. To conduct the study, the authors performed a systematic search of five databases to identify relevant studies between 1998 and 2009. Seven studies of breast cancer incidence and two studies of breast cancer recurrence were identified. The selected studies encompassed a total of 5,617 cases of breast cancer.

Combining the results of case-control studies suggests that green tea consumption reduces risk of breast cancer by 19%. However, no association was found in population studies of breast cancer incidence. Combining all studies of breast cancer risk resulted in significant lack of uniformity in the results. On the other hand, increased green tea consumption (more than three cups a day) was found to be inversely associated with breast cancer recurrence. The authors conclude that the association between green tea consumption and risk of breast cancer remains unclear based on the current evidence. However, available evidence supports the hypothesis that increased green tea consumption may be associated with lower risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Please see our article on how to optimize your breast cancer diet for information on what to eat during all stages of treatment and recovery.