Effect of caffeine on the promotion stage of carcinogenesis

In studies conducted in female rats using the mammary carcinogen 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene, caffeine suppressed the carcinogenic response when administered during the initiation phase. However, it failed to attenuate the carcinogenic response when administered during the promotion stage (Welsch et al., 1988b; Welsch and DeHoog, 1988) and even stimulated the carcinogenic activity in female mice (Welsch et al., 1988a). Clearly, caffeine is unable to influence the promotion stage of carcino-genesis and is even less likely to have such an effect when consumed as tea, where the level is relatively low.

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