High tea consumption diminishes salivary 17β-estradiol concentration in Polish women

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Abstract

We hypothesized that among reproductive-age women consuming large quantities of tea, the production of estradiol would be suppressed. It has been shown that catechins and theaflavines, the major constituents of tea, inhibit aromatase, an enzyme which catalyses the conversion of androgens to oestrogens. Our study included Polish women living in urban (n 61) and rural (n 48) areas. Women collected daily saliva samples for one complete menstrual cycle and filled out dietary questionnaires. Saliva samples were analysed by RIA for concentration of 17β-estradiol (E2). Women with high (above the median) average daily consumption of black tea had reduced levels of salivary E2 in comparison with women who drank less black tea (below the median). This effect was observed within the whole study group, as well as separately within urban (P=0·0006) and rural (P=0·013) groups. High intake of the sum of subclasses of tea catechins and epigallocatechin gallate, assessed using the United States Department of Agriculture database (http://www.nal.usda.gov), was also associated with lower concentrations of E2 within all women (P=0·01 and P=0·0001, respectively) and within the urban group (P=0·0001 and P=0·004, respectively). Similar relationships were observed between the sum of subclasses of theaflavines and thearubigines and E2 levels for the whole group (P=0·002) and for urban women (P=0·02). Women with high consumption of tea had lower levels of E2 concentration throughout the entire menstrual cycle. These results may have implications for reducing hormone-related cancer risk by a relatively easy dietary intervention.

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