By: Aunindita Bhatia
A study carried out in Japan has once again shown the cancer-fighting properties of citrus fruit. The study found that those who were eating the fruit had significantly lower risk of getting a number of cancers, but this was also true of green tea consumers. Interestingly and more importantly, daily citrus consumption provided significant protection when combined with green tea.
The Ohsaki Cohort Study
This is the recently released study that gave the insights into citrus fruit plus green tea cancer protection benefits. The following is the research’s methodology:
- Study sample: Over 42,000 (both genders)
- Study characteristics: Age 40-79 years
- Study period: 1994-2003 follow up period of at least 7.6 years.
Among tea drinkers, consuming citrus fruits everyday resulted in a 17% reduced cancer risk for men, and an 18% reduced risk for women. Consuming the citrus fruit alone at least 3-4 times a week led to an observed 11% cancer risk decrease.
The Ohsaki Cohort study showed that those who had citrus fruit in their diet each day and were green tea drinkers got significantly greater protection even above that of drinking the tea alone. The significance of this is that previous studies have shown that drinking green tea can lower the risk of contacting multiple cancers such as prostate, ovarian, liver, endometrial, oral and lung cancers. The green tea and cancer relationship is indeed a strong one, and exemplifies only a portion of the health benefits of green tea.
The Citrus and Green Tea Combination Significantly Lowers Prostate and Pancreatic Cancer Risk
The data from the Ohsaki Cohort study was further analyzed, and even more stunning results emerged. For pancreatic cancer, the daily intake of citrus and green tea resulted 38% reduced cancer-risk for both women and men. In the case of prostate cancer found in men the reduction was at 37%. These two results are statistically significant.
The risk reduction in other cancers such as renal, bladder, breast, esophageal and colorectal was observed, but the figures were on the lower side, hence had no statistical significance.
What Made the Combination Work?
The researchers set out to study why citrus fruit and green tea made such an effective mix that could fight off cancer. They found that citrus consumption stabilized the polyphenols of the green tea in ones gut. The Japanese’ main citrus is the mandarin orange, which is thought not to possess a synergizing compound (has 8mg hesperetin, 10mg naringenin, little quercetin).
The anticancer effect of green tea is raised by increasing the absorption of polyphenols in the gut. The Ohsaki Cohort study seems to be supported by Purdue University’s study showing that the polyphenols found in green tea were quite unstable when they reached the gut. That only 20% or less of these active polyphenols could be easily absorbed post-digestion.
The findings showed that green tea, mixed with other suitable additives, dramatically increases the absorption. The biggest stabilizer then of the polyphenols is citrus juice, which would result in a recovery or absorption rate of even 76%.
So combine citrus juice and green tea today and reduce your cancer risk.