Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Tea May Fight Ovarian, Breast Cancers

Broccoli, Kale Also Potent Sources of Cancer-Fighting Flavonoids

Kaempferol Fights Ovarian Cancer continued...

Gates says she'd like to see further research in this area. "If confirmed, flavonoid consumption would provide an important target for ovarian cancer protection," she says.

To look at the flavonoid-breast cancer link, Fink studied data from a large study of breast cancer rates and risk factors conducted among women living on Long Island, N.Y., in the mid-1990s. In 1996 and 1997, nearly 3,000 participants were interviewed at home about their lifestyle habits and given questionnaires that asked what they ate and how much they ate.

The study showed that postmenopausal women who consumed the most flavonoids were 46% less likely to develop breast cancer, compared with those who consumed the least. But the potent chemicals had no effect on risk in premenopausal women.

When the researchers looked at specific flavonoids in the postmenopausal women, they found that flavones reduce breast cancer risk by 39%, flavan-3-ols by 26%, and lignans by 31%.

In addition to tea, green salad, tomatoes, and apples are good sources of the breast cancer-fighting flavonoids, Fink says.

Other flavonoids, such as flavanones, isoflavones, and anthocyanidins, showed no relationship to cancer risk.

"Tiny differences in chemical structure could determine why one flavonoid is protective and one is not," he says. "More study is needed."

Promising Area of Research

Cedric Garland, DrPH, a preventive medicine specialist at the University of California, San Diego, says flavonoids are a promising area of research for cancer prevention. He notes that flavonoids are available in supplement form.

The problem: "The research is only beginning to be done so we don't yet know how much to recommend," he tells WebMD.

In the meantime, your best bet may be a plate of broccoli washed down with a cup of tea.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
what is your cancer risk
colorectal cancer treatment advances
breast cancer overview slideshow
prostate cancer overview
lung cancer overview slideshow
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
Actor Michael Douglas