Devil or doctor? - The debate may never end.
Yet scientists from the US Department of Agriculture now hold court with a toast to your health. Drink more tea, they say.
Researchers have found various cancer- fighting active ingredients in samples of tea extracted by water and ethanol.
Drinking more green tea and tea preparations can actually help fight various cancers as well as help in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and obesity, they vouch.
Mendel Friedman and colleagues from Keimyung, Uiduk, and Yeungnam Universities in South Korea tested the action of nine green tea catechins, three black tea theaflavins, and theanine in the cancer cell cultures derived from a number of human cancers.
The researchers found that the majority of tea compounds and tea extracts reduced the numbers of human breast, colon, live and prostate cancer cell lines as well as normal human liver cells.
The growth of normal human lung cells was not inhibited.
Although the study published in the Journal of Food and Agricultural Chemistry was conducted in cell cultures and results may not necessarily be applicable in humans, according to the authors, the results "suggest that consumers may benefit more by drinking both green and black teas."