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Drinking tea ‘increases cancer risk’

25 Replies
Angrboda said

Piffle.

Being born puts you at risk of cancer. There’s nothing you can do to completely take that risk out of your life, and what seems to protect you slightly from one sort may seem to contribute slightly to another sort. And even if you could live in a sterile bubble on nothing but distilled water and lettuce, you might still get cancer, because that’s just the sort of rotten luck some people have.

On the other hand you might also smoke like a chimney and drink like a fish for your whole life and die quietly in bed one night at age 95.

Also, this quote.

“We found that heavy tea drinkers were more likely not to be overweight, be non-alcohol drinkers and have healthy cholesterol levels. However, we did adjust for these differences in our analysis and still found that men who drank the most tea were at greater risk of prostate cancer.”

Adjust? Adjust?! Erm, how were these results adjusted? Doesn’t adjusting your results just mean that you are manipulating them into showing what you want them to. Because the way I’m reading this is, ‘gosh, these people seem to be healthier than the rest of the group! That can’t be right. Let’s fiddle with the numbers until we have a uniformly unhealthy group!’ Now, I don’t work with academia, so I’m a layman with these things, but I don’t really care for the idea of findings being adjusted…

Like with articles that boasts tea as the Wonder-Food of the Century where you have to pay attention to who sponsored the research and take the results with a grain of salt when discovering it was someone with an interest in selling more tea, you have to be equally careful with critical articles. They might be sponsored by someone interested in making people buy more hot cocoa instead.

Good science requires controls. There’s nothing weird about controlling for other factors, which indeed often means adjusting data to account for other factors.

I’m not convinced this is good science, though.

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momo said

I’ve been reminded. The best article title I have ever seen based on “medical research” is Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Risk of Dying.

REALLY? How does that one work?

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Okay so after reading through this thread there’s really just one question on my mind..
What’s so terrible about the black tea + milk + sugar? I mean I know it’s not as healthful as drinking straight teas, but it seems to me that a splash of milk and sugar can’t be too terrible, considering how little of each goes into a cup. Or bad enough that drinking tea without additions = good for you, while drinking tea with additions = unhealthy.

Side note – I completely understand why drinking other types of tea is better for you than just drinking black tea, it’s just the additions that have me confused.

Zoltar said

i may say a totally wrong info ( if it is just correct me :p ) but i remember reading somewhere that milk neutralize all sort of good thing like anti-oxidant ( and more ) and not a lot of milk require just a little drop is enough, for the sugar well apart being sugar i don’t think there is really a problem with it some sugar are better than other but that up to your personal taste except if you put 4 tbs in it each time

Milk and sugar being added to tea is more of a cultural thing. The reason is tea when it was first imported to England took a very long time to arrive, and was generally very smoky in flavor. This is due to the tea being next to camp fires constantly as the traders came back from China. The quality of the tea was subpar and not what we have today because of the travel times and other flavors that would intermingle with the tea. This led to milk and sugar being added to help hide the bad qualities of the tea.

Interesting! Thanks for both of your insights.

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