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Can Tea be Protective Against Prostate Cancer? – a new study

Is tea protective against Prostate Cancer?

Well, it depends.

• New study analyzed over 58,000 British men

• There was a 33% lower risk of Stage 4 prostate cancer in those who drank black tea

• The amount to tea consumed with protective benefits was 5 cups or more a day

• It apparently did not matter if sugar, milk or lemon juice was added (Geybels et al. 2013).

• I suggest drinking green tea instead

• Green tea has higher flavonoids that are seemingly more protective than black tea.

• Consume 5 cups or so of green tea a day.

• Dietary supplements of green tea are potentially helpful as well.

More on the latest study HERE

My take on this

The type of tea used in this study was black tea – not the best kind as they have less of the protective qualities compared to green tea.

A study of studies (meta-analysis) looked at the effects of black tea vs green tea black tea against prostate cancer and showed that green tea but not black tea might have protective effects against prostate cancer (Zheng et al. 2011).

One prospective study looking at over 6,000 Scottish men for over 40 years showed that those who drank 7 cups of black tea a day had a 50% chance of developing prostate cancer. Those who drank up to 3 cups a day did not increase their chances of developing this disease. (Shafique et al. 2012)

Green Tea vs. Black Tea

The plant Camellia Senenisis is where green tea comes from. This plant contain a group of protective plant chemical called flavonoids – shown to be have anti-antioxidant and anti-tumor abilities.

The difference is of the type of teas depends on the degree of fermentation:

Green tea – not fermented – main flavonoids are called Catechins – Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been the catechin most studied and the one displaying the most anti-cancer protection.

Oolong tea – moderately fermented – and has some Theoflavins and low levels of EGCG.

Black tea – very fermented – contains no Catechins and no EGCG but mostly the fermented and oxidized version of EGCG called Theoflavins.

Generally, green tea contains much more protective qualities than black tea – particularly as it relates to prostate cancer. More information on the benefits of green tea against prostate cancer HERE and HERE

Rule of thumb: when you drink green tea the tea should have a lime green color to it. Often “green tea” looks brown and that means it’s been fermented.

Green tea supplements with concentrated portions of EGCG can also be potentially protective. In 60 patients with High Grade Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (HGPIN) wanted to know if taking green tea extract supplement pills protected men from prostate cancer. About 30% of HGPIN cells become cancerous within 1 year after biopsy. After 1 year, only one tumor was diagnosed among the 30 green tea-treated men (incidence, ∼3%), whereas nine cancers were found among the 30 placebo-treated men (incidence of 30%). (Bettuzi et l 2006.)

Bottom line: For those with prostate cancer or interested in the prevention of it , it’s a good idea to consume about 5 cups of green tea over black tea a day. Make sure your green tea resembles a lime green color. Supplementation with green tea extract can also be potentially protective. Coffee is also OK.


Geybels MS, Verhage BA, Arts IC, van Schooten FJ, Goldbohm RA, van den Brandt PA.Dietary flavonoid intake, black tea consumption, and risk of overall and advanced stage prostate cancer. Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Jun 15;177(12):1388-98.