Can Bubble Tea Cause Cancer?

By: Bel Marra Health | Cancer | Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 06:08 AM

cancer riskBubble tea is considered as an enjoyable Asian drink, with its tapioca pearls and wide range of flavors.  Most young individuals would grab a glass of bubble tea and chew on these sticky, sweet tapioca pearls using a wide-diameter straw.  The tapioca pearls in bubble tea are prepared from the cassava crop, which is a common plant in both Asia and South America.  Cassava has been widely used in making gels, candies, pudding, and other similar food items.

Avoid Cancer by Avoiding This?

According to a recent medical report, this sparkly bubble tea may not be as enjoyable as originally conceived because it has been linked to an increased cancer risk.

The association of tapioca and cancer stems from a recent medical report published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, which discusses the relationship between levels of organochlorines in the activity of cancer cells.  The study showed that a higher level of organochlorines in the body is associated with a higher cancer risk, especially for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Organochlorines are organic compounds that are generally used as a solvent in the production of various products such as chemicals and food items.

Unfortunately, the tapioca pearls in the famous bubble tea also contain organochlorines and when present at high concentrations, may increase cancer risk.  The organochlorine molecules may enter cancer cells and trigger these to further proliferate, increasing cancer risk.  It may be also possible that the mass production of tapioca pearls for a bigger consuming public has pushed manufacturers to use organochlorines in their production, unaware that this may not be helpful to avoid cancer.

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The recent medical report described the results of screening approximately 57,053 study participants from 1993 to 1997.  These individuals were monitored in terms of cancer risk, of which approximately 256 eventually developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  In addition, these particular study participants were screened for organochlorine levels in their blood and the results showed that their levels were significantly higher than the subjects without any cancer cells.  These organic molecules were also identified in individuals with greater body fat.

Although the actual mechanism between cancer risk and organochlorines are vague, the findings of the recent medical report may serve as a point of concern for our general health and our outlook on how to avoid cancer.  Decreasing cancer risk to avoid cancer is very important for maintaining good health and preventing cancer cells to thrive in the body.  It may also be helpful to adopt a healthy lifestyle to avoid cancer.  The proponents of the study has also expressed concern regarding the elusiveness of the role of organochlorines in increasing cancer risk to avoid cancer through the production of cancer cells because of the elusive role of body mass in cancer development.

The Cancer Risk Research

It may take several years for researchers to generate a more detailed description of the mechanism used by cancer cells in the presence of organochlorines.  Finding meaningful information relating to organochlorines and how to avoid cancer may also take some time.  It may also be possible that in the future, this association may be proven false.  However, it is yet important to understand that cancer risk increases when excessive amounts of harmful chemicals enter the body, which can damage tissues and produce cancer cells.  Leading a healthy lifestyle that includes fresh fruits and vegetables is thus our best bet to avoid cancer and to decrease cancer risk and the production of cancer cells.

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