Green and black tea in relation to gynecologic cancers

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Jun;55(6):931-40. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201100058. Epub 2011 May 19.


Scope: Observational studies have evaluated the relationship between green tea intake and cancers of the ovary and endometrium, but we are not aware of the published studies on green tea intake and risk of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers of the cervix, vagina, or vulva.

Methods and results: A critical review of the published literature on tea intake and risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers was conducted. In meta-analyses, we report inverse associations for green tea intake and risk of ovarian cancer (odds ratio [OR]=0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.54, 0.80), and for green tea and risk of endometrial cancer (OR=0.78, 95% CI: 0.62, 0.98). There was no association for black tea and ovarian cancer risk (OR=0.94, 95% CI: 0.87, 1.02) and a positive association with endometrial cancer risk (OR=1.20, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.38). We summarized the experimental evidence supporting the antiviral and immunomodulatory activities of green tea catechins, and results from randomized clinical trials that demonstrated green tea catechin efficacy on treatment of cervical lesions and external genital warts.

Conclusion: Observational data support a protective role of green tea on risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Observational data are needed to evaluate whether green tea reduces risk of human papillomavirus-related cancers.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alphapapillomavirus / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry
  • Catechin / therapeutic use
  • Condylomata Acuminata / drug therapy
  • Condylomata Acuminata / virology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / drug therapy
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Precancerous Conditions / drug therapy
  • Precancerous Conditions / virology
  • Risk
  • Species Specificity
  • Tea* / adverse effects
  • Tea* / chemistry
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Tea
  • Catechin