Black tea consumption linked to prostate cancer21 June 2012
Males who drink large amounts of tea could increase the chances of developing prostate cancer by as much as 50%, according to researchers at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing.
The longitudinal study, published in the Nutrition and Cancer journal, tracked the health of more than 6,000 men aged between 21 and 75 over a period of 37 years. Participants provided information about their tea, coffee and alcohol consumption, smoking habits and general health.
Just under a quarter of the men were heavy tea drinkers. Of these, 6.4% developed prostate cancer during the course of the study.
Those drinking more than seven cups of tea a day were 50% more at risk than those who drank no tea or up to three cups.
“Most previous research has shown either no relationship with prostate cancer for black tea or some preventive effect of green tea,” said Dr Kashif Shafique, the study’s leader.
"We don't know whether tea itself is a risk factor or if tea drinkers are generally healthier and live to an older age when prostate cancer is more common anyway.
“We found that heavy tea drinkers were more likely not to be overweight, be non-alcohol drinkers and have healthy cholesterol levels. However, we did adjust for these differences in our analysis and still found that men who drank the most tea were at greater risk of prostate cancer.
"There has been much interest in the preventive effects of green tea on prostate cancer risk; however, we found a harmful effect of black tea on prostate cancer risk. The association between tea intake and prostate cancer should be investigated in prospective epidemiological studies in relation to different compositions of tea," he added.
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