How Drinking Tea May Change Your Genes

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By Amanda MacMillan in Time Health.

Tea has been linked to numerous health benefits, from a reduced risk of heart attacks and high blood pressure to potential protection against certain cancers. Now, a study suggests that the biological effects of the beverage may extend to the genetic level: Drinking tea might change how DNA is expressed, which could play a role in disease susceptibility and overall health.

Behavior or environment can trigger chemical modifications in the body that affect which genes are turned on and off, the study of which is known as epigenetics. In the new study, published inHuman Molecular Genetics, tea drinking for women was associated with epigenetic changes in 28 different gene regions known to interact with cancer or estrogen metabolism.

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