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article imageTea consumption leads to 'positive' epigenetic changes

By Tim Sandle     Jun 1, 2017 in Health
The consumption of tea may lead to beneficial changes in women, according to a new study. This relates to epigenetics and the genes that appear to turn cancer 'on and off'.
The research comes from Uppsala Universitet, in Israel. Here the scientists have shown how tea consumption in women leads to epigenetic changes in the genes that are known to interact with cancer and estrogen metabolism. Epigenetic changes refer to factors that trigger chemical modifications that turn genes off or on. The term is generally used to describe anything other than DNA sequence that influences the development of an organism. Previous research has established that environment and lifestyle factors, such as the food choices made by people, as well as smoking and exposure to chemicals, can lead to epigenetic changes.
The focus of the new research was to examine whether coffee and tea consumption leads to epigenetic changes. This was specifically in relation to the consumption of these beverages in modulating disease-risk in humans by suppressing tumor progression, decreasing inflammation and influencing estrogen metabolism. Each of these are mechanisms that could possibly be mediated by epigenetic changes.
The research findings show that epigenetic changes in women who consume tea regularly occurred with the genes involved in cancer and estrogen metabolism. However, the same responses were not seen with men. According to lead researcher Dr. Weronica Ek it is not known if this is because women tend to drink more tea than men. Interestingly the research did not show any epigenetic changes in either men or women who regularly drink coffee.
The next phase of the research is to investigate whether pharmacologically active components in tea are involved in cancer and estrogen metabolism. The research has been published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics, under the heading "Tea and coffee consumption in relation to DNA methylation in four European cohorts."
More about Tea, tea drinking, Cancer, Women, Epigenetics
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