Tea has already been suggested to prevent cancer by way of its anti-inflammatory properties. In cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, topically-applied tea extracts have also been found to help counter radiation-induced skin damages.
Pajonk et al. find that tea extracts reduce the duration of skin toxicity following radiotherapy by 5 to 10 days. green tealinks extracts are more effective than black tea extracts in some patients. Pajonk et al. also show that tea extracts reduce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, TNFalpha and PGE2, in human white blood cells in culture, with green tea having higher anti-inflammatory properties than black tea. Both black tea and green tea inhibit one major inflammatory pathway in mouse white blood cells.
The authors speculate that tea’s high polyphenol content may account for this protective effect, but other pathways may likewise be involved.