How green tea can lower risk of prostate cancer
Green tea has been shown to make people more alert and lower high cholesterol, plus it’s packed with antioxidants. Now recent research shows that a component of the drink may help decrease the development of prostate cancer.
Researchers evaulated nearly 100 men with pre-cancerous prostate lesions that put them at an increased risk for developing prostate cancer. Half of the men were asked to take green tea capsules twice a day for one year and the other half were given a placebo.
The green tea capsules contained Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, a substance found in green tea, and other catechins — a type of natural phenol and antioxidants. Previous studies have shown that catechins can slow the growth of cancer cells and even destroy existing cancer cells.
While the difference between the research and control groups was not statistically significant, at the end of one year the men taking the green tea capsules had a lower rate of prostate cancer development and experienced a significant decrease in prostate-specific antigen levels. Men with prostate cancer usually have a higher level of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate gland.
“While it’s too early to draw any conclusions, this is a promising and apparently non-toxic option in preventing prostate cancer,” says Dr. Mebea Aklilu, medical oncologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.
Although many of the primary risk factors for prostate cancer are things men have no control over such as age, race and family history, there are three steps men can take to lower their risk, Dr. Aklilu says.
He recommends the following:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit the amount of red meat and high-fat dairy in your diet.
- Don’t smoke.
“In addition to helping to lower your risk for prostate cancer, these things will benefit your overall health,” he says.
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