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|Evan Watson, NatureCity author & contributor|
Women who consume more mushrooms and green tea may have a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer, according to the results of a study published in the March 2009 edition of the International Journal of Cancer.
The case-controlled study, conducted by researchers from the University of Western Australia in Perth, followed more than 2,000 women between the ages of 20 and 87 from southeast China.
The researchers compared the diets of 1,009 women diagnosed with breast cancer to an equal number of women without cancer. Using a detailed dietary questionnaire, the researchers were able to determine how often the participants ate specific foods and drank certain beverages.
After controlling for variables such as weight, education level, exercise frequency and smoking habits, the researchers found that women who ate the most fresh mushrooms (10 grams daily) had nearly a 2/3 decrease in breast cancer risk compared to those who ate the least (less than 4 grams daily.)
Furthermore, those who ate 4 grams or more of dried mushrooms per day had half the cancer risk of non-consumers.
Even more impressive was the fact that women who consumed mushrooms regularly and drank green tea had an 82 to 89 percent decrease in breast cancer risk compared to the women who consumed neither.
The researchers note that since this is the first study to analyze the link between mushroom and green tea consumption and cancer risk, more research is necessary to verify these positive results.
The breast cancer rate in China is around 4-5 times lower than most developing countries. This study provides some evidence that the high consumption of antioxidant rich green tea and tumor fighting mushrooms may play a large role in this lowered risk.
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