coffee tea brain tumorsCoffee and Tea Lovers may have a diminished likelihood of developing the most common type of malignant brain tumor in adults, new research suggests. The survey of more than 500 000 European adults, confirms evidence of more recent U.S. research that ties coffee and tea intake to a reduced risk of gliomas, a class of brain tumors that represents about 80 percent of malignant brain tumors in adults. It doesn’t, however, show that the drinks actually provide protection. The researchers say this study would not be a reason for anyone to change their consumption of coffee or tea.

coffee tea brain tumorsAnd while coffee and tea may have a direct effect on the risk of glioma, the affect would be small. Brain tumors are generally uncommon in Europe, for example, the estimated annual rate of between four and six cases per 100,000 women, and six to eight cases per 100,000 men.

In total, the probability that a person will develop a malignant brain tumor (cancerous) in their lifetime is less than 1 percent. Increased coffee and tea consumption and its apparent protection against gliomas would could give scientists insight into the causes of tumors. At present there is little known about the causes of brain cancer

Results published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is an ongoing study of 10 European countries examining the potential risk factors for cancer. At the beginning of 521 men and 488 women aged between 25 and 70, completed detailed questionnaires about their medical history, diet, exercise, smoking and other lifestyle aspects.

The review covered more than 410 000 participants who were cancer-free at the beginning and who had furnished complete dietary information. Over an average of 8.5 years of follow-up, 343 of these men and women were diagnosed with glioma, another 245 developed meningioma a usually benign form of brain tumor.

Researchers who divided study participants into four or five groups according to their consumption of tea and coffee at the start, found no evidence of a decrease in glioma risk and consumption of coffee and tea rose. The results were different, however, when researchers studied two groups: those who average at least 3.5 grams of coffee or tea per day, and those who drank less or nothing. The heaviest tea and coffee drinkers were a third more likely to be diagnosed with glioma, with factors such as age and smoking history taken into account. No associated risk of meningioma was found.

It is unclear why there was no evidence of a dose-response relationship between coffee and tea consumption and risk of glioma (generally considered a strong sign of a possible causal relationship). But it may be related to difficulties in accurately measuring the participants coffee and tea consumption, which was based on self-reports.

A recent laboratory study, for example, found that caffeine appears to slow the growth of a cancer type called glioblastoma glioma. In addition, coffee and tea both contain antioxidants that help protect body cells against damage that can cause cancer and other diseases. But it is also possible that coffee and tea loves have other characteristics that may affect their risk of developing glioma. Exactly that these characteristics may be are unknown, just as the causes of the majority of brain tumors are unknown.

Researchers know of some risk factors. People who undergo radiation therapy – especially radiation therapy of the head to physic other cancers – run and increased chance of future brain tumor. And genetic predisposition seems to play a role in a small percentage of brain tumors. But the evidence of environmental or dietary factors such as occupational exposure to chemicals was inconclusive. More research is needed both to confirm a connection between consumption of coffee and tea and the risk of glioma and to decipher the underlying reasons.

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