There are so many ways that a man can reduce his risk of developing prostate cancer. Maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising regularly, consuming alcohol in moderation, and sticking to a low-fat, plant-based diet are important ways to lower your risk. But living a healthy life doesn’t automatically mean having a boring, tasteless diet. Green tea is a delicious way to quench your thirst and give your health a boost at the same time. Not only can it help reduce your risk of prostate cancer, it may also slow the growth of aggressive prostate cancer. And if you needed any more convincing, drinking green tea regularly may also help lower cholesterol, prevent diabetes, burn fat, and prevent dementia.
Green Tea and Prostate Cancer
Compared to black or oolong tea, green tea is minimally processed. That means that its unique catechins like epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) are much more highly concentrated. Catechins are a type of polyphenol, or antioxidant. One 8-oz. serving of green tea can contain anywhere from 25 to 106 mg of EGCG. These potent catechins are what makes green tea such a powerhouse beverage for cancer prevention. Green tea also contains other polyphenols, such as quercetin, kaempferol, and myricitrin. Numerous studies have been conducted on the health benefits of green tea.
The Evidence for Green Tea and Prostate Cancer
It is possible that green tea may help prevent prostate cancer from occurring. In 2005, Italian researchers from the University of Parma and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia reported the results of their study. They evaluated 62 men who were all at a high risk for developing prostate cancer. To exclude other contributing factors, the researchers did not evaluate men who were vegetarians or those who already consumed green tea. Thirty-two of the men received a pill with 200 mg of green tea catechins three times daily, for a total daily dosage of 600 mg. After a year, only one of those men was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In the control group, nine out of 30 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
In lab and animal studies, green tea catechins have been shown to inhibit tumor growth and induce cancer cell apoptosis (cell death). This suggests that green tea may help treat prostate cancer and slow its progression.
A 2009 study published in the Cancer Prevention Journal by James A. Cardelli and his colleagues explored the connection between green tea and the reduced rate of prostate cancer progression. The researchers administered four daily capsules of green tea extract to 26 men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer and were scheduled for a radical prostatectomy. The capsules were equivalent to a daily total of about 12 cups of green tea. The patients took the capsules for 12 to 73 days, with the median timeframe being 34.5 days. The study showed a significant decline in serum markers that indicate the progression of prostate cancer. Some showed a decline of greater than 30%.
How to Enjoy Green Tea
Choose brewed green tea over the iced and ready-to-drink varieties, as those types may not have high concentrations of polyphenols. Brewed hot tea tends to contain higher concentrations. Unfortunately, decaf green tea also contains fewer catechins. If you don’t care for green tea or you’d rather avoid caffeine, try a green tea extract supplement. Some men’s supplements for prostate health contain green tea extract.