Can Drinking Tea Reduce My Prostate Cancer Risk?

Drinking tea reduces prostate cancer risk, especially among men who consume two or more cups of green tea or black tea per day. That was the finding reported by investigators at Maastricht University in The Netherlands.

This study supports the findings of numerous previous research efforts in which scientists found that components found in tea (green tea in particular) can be beneficial in fighting prostate cancer. Those components include potent antioxidants called catechins, and especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

Catechins can suppress progression of prostate cancer, induce cell suicide, and inhibit the spread of prostate cancer.

Tea and prostate cancer risk

The scientists evaluated the association between prostate cancer risk and drinking coffee and tea. More than 1,700 men were involved in the tea analysis, and another group of more than 1,700 were included in the coffee analysis.

After all the evaluations were completed, it was determined that men who drank two or more cups of tea daily had a 37 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer compared with men who drank only one cup or less per week. The authors did not find any relationship between consumption of coffee and prostate cancer risk.

Contradictory findings

Not every study has found that drinking tea reduces prostate cancer risk. In fact, a study published in Nutrition and Cancer and conducted at the University of Glasgow reported that men who drank tea had an increased risk of developing the disease. In that study, data from more than 6,000 men were evaluated.

A total of 318 men developed prostate cancer during the 37 years of follow-up. Men who consumed the greatest amount of tea (7 cups or more daily) had the greatest risk of developing prostate cancer when compared with 1 to 3 cups per day.

Overall, however, research has indicated that tea reduces prostate cancer risk or has a role in hindering the spread of prostate cancer.

Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.

References

Geybels MS et al. Associations of tea and coffee consumption with prostate cancer risk. Cancer Causes & Control 2013 May; 24(5): 941-48

Shafique K et al. Tea consumption and the risk of overall and grade specific prostate cancer: a large prospective cohort study of Scottish men. Nutrition and Cancer 2012 Aug; 64(6): 790-97