Green tea and liver cancer risk: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies in Asian populations

Nutrition. 2016 Jan;32(1):3-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.05.021. Epub 2015 Jul 2.


Objectives: The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate whether an association existed between green tea consumption and the risk for liver cancer in prospective cohort studies in Asian populations.

Methods: Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science, and the Chinese Bio-medicine Database published before April 2015. Study-specific risk estimates for the highest versus non- or lowest and increment of daily cup of green tea consumption levels were combined based on fixed- or random-effects models. STATA 11.0 (Stata Corporation, College Station, TX, USA) software was used for statistical analysis.

Results: Nine prospective cohort articles involving 465,274 participants and 3694 cases of liver cancer from China, Japan, and Singapore were included. The summary relative risk (RR) indicated a significant association between the highest green tea consumption and reduced risk for liver cancer (summary RR, 0.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81-0.97). However, no statistically significant association was observed when analyzing daily consumption of one cup (summary RR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95-1.00). When stratified by sex, the protective effect of green tea consumption on risk for liver cancer was observed only in the group of women (summary RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.64-0.96), but not in men (summary RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.79-1.00).

Conclusions: The present analysis indicated the preventive effects of green tea intake on the risk for liver cancer in female Asian populations. However, additional studies are needed to make a convincing case for this association.

Keywords: Asian populations; Cohort studies; Green tea; Liver cancer; Meta-analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Camellia sinensis*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Tea*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea