Protection by black tea and green tea against UVB and UVA + B induced skin cancer in hairless mice

Mutat Res. 1998 Nov 9;422(1):191-9. doi: 10.1016/s0027-5107(98)00192-4.


The effects of green and black tea consumption on the early indices of UVB and UVA + B skin damage in hairless mice have been studied in the absence of any chemical tumour initiators or promoters. Black tea consumption was associated with a reduction in the number of sunburn cells in the epidermis of mice 24 h after UVA + B irradiation, although there was no effect of green tea. Other indices of early damage such as necrotic cells or mitotic figures were not affected. Neutrophil infiltration as a measure of skin redness was slightly lowered by tea consumption in the UVB group. Consumption of either green or black tea resulted in significantly fewer skin papillomas and tumours induced by UVA + B light, however black tea provided better protection against UVB-induced tumours than green tea. This study confirms earlier reports that tea consumption can reduce the incidence of skin cancer in hairless mice, and indicates that black tea may afford more protection against simulated solar irradiation than green tea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Mitotic Index / radiation effects
  • Necrosis
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / prevention & control*
  • Neutrophils / radiation effects
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Tea / therapeutic use*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Tea