There is good news for tea lovers; a new study suggests consuming oolong tea, a type of Chinese tea, helps combat breast cancer. It is also beneficial for the heart, brain and could help prevent diabetes.

Researchers found that the Chinese tea, used for centuries for its supposed health benefits, stopped the growth of breast cancer cells and the extract hampered the DNA of the cancer cells, inhibiting the growth and progression of tumours.

Green tea also showed similar benefits, but black and dark tea had little effect on the cells, the study indicates.

The results show oolong tea, much like green tea, plays a role in inhibiting breast cancer cell growth, proliferation and tumour progression, says a researcher from St. Louis University in Missouri.

The study results, published in the journal Anticancer Research, showed that regions with high oolong tea consumption generally had lower rates of breast cancer.

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‘The lower incidence and mortality in regions with higher oolong tea consumption indicate that the tea has great potential for its anti-cancer properties,’ says lead author Chunfa Huang, associate research professor at the varsity.