Exercise, Green Tea May Lessen Breast Cancer Blues by Joene Hendry - Reuters US Online Report Health News
Jan 22, 2010 14:46 EST
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Depression is a major
health issue for breast cancer survivors, but new research hints
that regular exercise and drinking green tea may help.
Exercising regularly and drinking green tea "may play an
important role in the prevention of depression among breast cancer
survivors," report Dr. Xiao Ou Shu, at
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in
Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues.
They examined depression-related factors in 1,399 Chinese women
who were 54 years old on average and treated for breast cancer in
Shanghai, China between April 2002 and
December 2006. Six months after their diagnosis, the researchers
assessed the women's physical activity levels; food, tea, and
alcohol consumption; cigarette smoking; and use of herbal medicines
In depression evaluations at 18-months post-diagnosis, the
investigators noted distinct benefits among the women who reported
some sort of exercise (62 percent of the total). At this time,
exercisers were about 20 percent less likely to be either mildly or
clinically depressed, the researchers report in the Journal of
They noted just 84 cases of mild or clinical depression among
437 vigorous exercisers (19.2 percent), but 161 cases among the 528
non-exercisers (30.5 percent).
Plus, compared with non-exercising women, the likelihood of
depression was 28 percent lower among women who exercised more than
2 hours a week and 42 percent lower among those who increased their
post-diagnosis exercise time.
Tea drinking also seemed to lessen depression. Compared with the
1,216 women who did not drink tea, among the 183 women who did,
depression risk was about 36 percent lower. The vast majority of
the tea drinkers -- 90 percent -- drank green tea.
The exercise and tea-drinking benefits remained when Shu's group
allowed for multiple other risk factors for depression.
No other factors seemed to alter depression risk.
Although exercise and drinking green tea seemed to lower
depression in this group of Chinese women, breast cancer survivors
"should not overdose themselves," Shu cautioned in an email to
He noted that excessive exercise and tea drinking may not have
the same benefit on mood. Also, further investigations are
necessary to clarify these findings since women in other countries,
who may undergo different breast cancer treatment regimens, may
SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Oncology, online January 4, 2010
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