Consuming green tea may lower the risk of developing lung cancer among smokers and non-smokers alike, a new study has concluded.
Researchers from the Chung Shan Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan, found that respondents who drank at least one cup of green tea per day had a five-fold lower risk of developing lung cancer than those who did not.
Among smokers, participants who consumed a minimum of one cup of green tea every day had a 13-fold lower risk than those who drank no tea.
The team also found that the antioxidants in the beverage had a greater therapeutic effect on people with specific growth factor genotypes.
While the results of the study suggest the potential health benefits associated with green tea, doctors warn that it is not a substitute for quitting smoking.
"People will look at this and think, ‘Oh, well, I can smoke as long as I have a few cups of green tea’," said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, quoted by News Day. "Nothing could be further from the truth."
"The most important thing here is that we don’t want anyone to get the message that it’s okay to smoke so long as I drink green tea," he added.