Congou tea consumption may reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, even when consumed at high temperatures. This finding was discovered through a large hospital-based case-control study of 1248 patients with esophageal cancer in South China. Congou is a variety of Chinese black tea that is often consumed at high temperatures in this area. In this region, esophageal cancer rates are high, and Congou tea is a common beverage.
This study was undertaken to determine whether hot Congou tea consumption was associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. The study included patients who had been diagnosed with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma between October 1997 and June 2000 and had lived in the country for at least ten years. The control group included individuals who matched the patients’ age, sex, and hospital but had no history of tobacco and/or alcohol-related illnesses. The patients and controls completed questionnaires regarding their occupation, socioeconomic status, lifetime Congou tea consumption (quantity, duration, and temperature), alcohol consumption (dose, duration, and type of alcoholic beverage), and tobacco smoking (quantity, duration, intensity, and cessation periods).
The study showed that Congou tea consumption had a protective effect against esophageal cancer. Unconditional logistic regression analysis revealed that older age, male sex, rural inhabitants, farmer or fisher occupation, lower income, tobacco consumption, alcohol consumption, fermented fish sauce, pickled vegetable, and sowbelly had a risk effect. However, fresh fruit, cooked vegetable, and Congou tea consumption had a protective effect. The study found that the protective effect of Congou tea consumption was significant, and a dose-response relationship was observed.
Additionally, the study found that the joint effect of alcohol drinking and smoking was more than additive, resulting in a synergy that increased the risk of esophageal cancer. However, the rate ratios from non-Congou drinkers were higher than those from Congou or hot Congou drinkers in the same combination of alcohol drinking and smoking. This suggests that Congou tea consumption may reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, even when consumed with alcohol and tobacco.
In conclusion, the study indicates that Congou tea consumption may protect against esophageal cancer, even when consumed at high temperatures. The results suggest that Congou tea may be a valuable dietary intervention in high-risk populations for esophageal cancer. However, further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which Congou tea exerts its protective effects.