Green tea may stop people getting oral cancer, even when they are at very high risk with a pre-malignant condition.
An extract of the tea successfully stopped the precancerous condition of oral leukoplakia from becoming malignant in more than half of the patients who were tested.
Different doses of the extract, based on body weight, were given to 41 oral leukoplakia patients. Around 58 per cent of those given the highest doses did not develop oral cancer, compared with 36 per cent of those taking the lowest dose, and 18 per cent of those who were given a placebo.
Unlike other cancer-fighting agents, the extract had no side effects, although those given the highest doses reported some insomnia and increased nervousness.
(Source: Cancer Prevention Research, 2009; 2: 931-41).