Tea promotes prostate cancer – recent study

A recent study suggests tea can promote prostate cancer – black tea that is.

Details of the study

• 6,016 men who were enrolled in this Scottish prospective study between 1970 and 1973 and followed up to December 31, 2007.

• 318 men developed prostate cancer in up to 37 years of follow-up.

• The association was greatest among men who drank 7 cups of tea or more per day compared with of 0–3 cups/day. Another words, those who drank 7 cups or more of tea were 50% more likely to develop prostate cancer

• No association between tea intake and Gleason score was found. (Shafique et al 2012)

My take on this:

The above mentioned study underscores the fact that Green tea should be the tea of choice in men interested in prostate cancer protection.

The biological benefits of tea are mainly due to their flavanol content. Tea flavanols are a group of natural polyphenols found in both green and black tea . Four flavanol derivatives are found in tea: epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), EC gallate (ECG), and EGC gallate (EGCG).

Green tea leaves contain approximately double the amount of favonols to that compared found in black tea.

Numerous studies have indicated the beneficial effects of prostate cancer:

A large prospective study of 49 920 men aged 40–69 years and their green tea consumption habits was conducted by the Japan Public Health Centre between 1990 and 2004. During this time, there were only 404 cases of newly diagnosed prostate cancer of which 114 cases were advanced, 271 were localized and 19 were of an undetermined stage. The results indicate that there may be a dose-dependent decrease in the risk of advanced prostate cancer in men who consume 5 cups or more of green tea per day (Kurahashi et al. 2008)

Another small trial set out to assess the efficacy of daily green tea supplement in patients at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. In all, 60 patients with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) were randomized to receive daily green tea supplementation vs placebo. The authors reported that there was a highly significant reduction in the incidence of prostate cancer in the group given daily green tea supplements compared with the group who took placebo alone [nine of 30 (30%) vs one of 30 (3%)]. In addition, the PSA values in the green tea supplement group remained constantly lower than those given placebo alone, although this was not statistically significant (Betuzzi et al. 2006)

Lastly the protective mechanism of prostate cancer with green tea seems to be by inducing natural cell death (apoptosis) and by inhibiting inflammatory markers like nuclear factor kappa B. (Johnson et al 2010)

Bottom line: It seems reasonable to consume numerous cups of green tea a day. In hot days like today (in New York) green ice tea is what the doctor orders. In addition, dietary supplements like Advanced Prostate Support and Prost P10x that include green tea extract may offer additional protection against prostate cancer and overall prostate health.


  • Shafique K, McLoone P, Qureshi K, Leung H, Hart C, Morrison DS. Tea Consumption and the Risk of Overall and Grade Specific Prostate Cancer: A Large Prospective Cohort Study of Scottish Men. Nutr Cancer. 2012 Jun 14.
  • Kurahashi N, Sasazuki S, Iwasaki M, Inoue M, Tsugane S. Green tea consumption and prostate cancer risk in Japanese men: a prospective study. Am J Epidemiol 2008; 167: 71–7
  • Bettuzzi S, Brausi M, Rizzi F, Castagnetti G, Peracchia G, Corti A. Chemoprevention of human prostate cancer by oral administration of green tea catechins in volunteers with high-grade prostate intraepithelial neoplasia: a preliminary report from a one-year proof-of-principle study. Cancer Res 2006; 66: 1234–40
  • Johnson JJ, Bailey HH, Mukhtar H. Green tea polyphenols for prostate cancer chemoprevention: a translational perspective. Phytomedicine 2010; 17: 3–13

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