What is the role of green tea in prostate cancer risk-reduction?

Updated: Oct 11, 2019
  • Author: Mark A Moyad, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Some of the more popular polyphenols have been the catechins in green tea, which have been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth in animal and epidemiologic studies. Epigallocatechin (EGCG), which is a principal ingredient in green tea leaves, interferes with biochemical reactions associated with cellular proliferation and enhances apoptosis. EGCG is a potent inhibitor of the carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (PhIP), which are produced from overcooked or charred meat. [76, 77, 78]

Some preliminary epidemiologic data support increasing green tea and/or EGCG consumption to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. [79] In addition, some preliminary research also suggests that coffee consumption may help to prevent prostate cancer or aggressive prostate cancer. [80] Still, the question remains whether these low-caloric beverages have tangible anti-cancer properties or are just markers of overall healthy behaviors that could cumulatively be responsible for a lower prostate cancer risk. This will be difficult to answer any time soon, but consuming low-caloric beverages to help maintain or achieve a healthy weight is a reasonable recommendation.


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