Green Tea May Prevent Prostate Cancer

Did You Know…that green tea may help slow the progression of prostate cancer in men?

In 2015, approximately 220,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, which ranks as the second most common cancer in men.  To test the effect of botanicals on prostate cancer, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center conducted a randomized study to see whether green tea catechins might prevent the progression of prostate cancer in men with premalignant lesions.

The Greatness of Green Tea 

Asian countries have a high population of tea drinkers, and consequently, low death rates from prostate cancer.  Research has shown that when Asian men immigrate to the United States and stop consuming green tea regularly, their risk of prostate cancer shoots up dramatically.

Lab studies suggests it’s the active compounds in green tea—called catechins—that slow cancer cell growth, motility, and invasion, while triggering cancer cell death.  Animal models have also attested to the cancer-protective benefits of green tea catechins, which help to prevent the formation of tumors and stall tumor growth.  Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the main catechin in green tea, and is credited with the tea’s cancer-fighting potential.

Green Tea and Prostate Cancer 

Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center studied men with premalignant prostate cancer lesions: specifically, high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) or atypical small acinar proliferation (ASAP). 

Men with HGPIN have prostate gland cells that exhibit abnormal patterns in the same manner that cancer cells do.

Men with ASAP have a collection of lesions on the prostate that cannot be definitively diagnosed as malignant or benign.

The men were randomized into 2 groups.  For 1 year, 48 men took a placebo pill twice a day, and 49 men took a 200 mg green tea capsule called Polyphenon E twice a day.  At the end of the year there was no statistical difference in prostate cancer cases diagnosed between the groups, however, prostate cancer development seemed to be significantly suppressed in the group supplementing with Polyphenon E.

Men diagnosed with only HPIN at the start of the study had a lower combined rate of ASAP and prostate cancer development when taking green tea capsules.  The catechins in green tea, primarily EGCG, also lowered prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, an indicator of prostate cancer.  There were no reported side effects in men taking the 200 mgs capsules.

Another reason to make green tea your beverage of choice!