- Green tea catechins, a type of antioxidant, have been shown to have a 90% effectiveness in preventing prostate cancer in high-risk men, according to an Italian study.
- This research represents the first study demonstrating the significant preventive impact of green tea catechins on prostate cancer in humans.
- Although prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed illness among men and one of the leading causes of cancer death, green tea may serve as a potential preventative measure.
- While previous in-lab studies have proven the anticancer properties of green tea, this research is pioneering in its demonstration of green tea’s effectiveness in human subjects.
- Further research is needed to confirm the findings, and issues exist around quality assurance of commercially available green tea supplements.
The power of a supplement replete with antioxidants sourced from green tea is believed to have a staggering 90% effectiveness in safeguarding men who are at a high risk of prostate cancer. These are the results of an investigation carried out in Italy, which discovered that only one individual from a high-risk group of 32 men contracted the disease, following a year of green tea catechins intake.
“To our understanding, this represents the first ever study to reveal that Green tea catechins (GTC) are extremely potent in preventing prostate cancer in humans,” explained Saverio Bettuzzi, a contributing author to the study and an associate professor of biochemistry School of Medicine at the University of Parma in Italy.
These findings made their debut on April 20 at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual congregation, held in Anaheim, Calif.
The Impact of Prostate Cancer
Only outpaced by skin cancer, prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed illness among men. The disease affects over 230,000 American men annually, as per the American Cancer Society statistics. Due to early detection in numerous cases, approximately 99% of those diagnosed are likely to survive a minimum of five years, while a substantial 92% are projected to live for at least a decade post-diagnosis.
Despite these optimistic figures, prostate cancer remains a lethal threat. The malady claims over 30,000 lives of men in the United States each year, ranking it as the second-largest cancer cause of death in men.
The Power of Green Tea
Bettuzzi elaborated that while his and other examinations have confirmed green tea’s preventive properties against prostate cancer in laboratory conditions, the researchers were keen to investigate whether it would yield similar results in human subjects.
To ascertain this premise, 62 men with a high probability of developing prostate cancer were enrolled for the study. The chosen group were already displaying initial signs of cancer – precancerous lesions – which often transition into full-blown cancer within a year’s time.
The selection criteria involved men between the ages of 45 and 75. Those who were vegetarians, habitual green tea drinkers, users of antioxidant supplements or hormone therapy were excluded from the research due to their potentially decreased risk of developing the disease.
32 out of the total participants were assigned a daily intake of 200-milligram pill containing green tea catechins for a full year, while the remaining 30 were given a placebo. Subsequent biopsies were performed after six months, and a year later.
Amazingly, only one man from the treatment group was ultimately diagnosed with prostate cancer, as opposed to the nine men from the control group that got the disease.
A Plea for Further Research
[Dr. Jay Brooks](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Brooks), chairman of hematology and oncology at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, urges for further exploration and study of these findings. Nonetheless, at this juncture, the doctor maintains his position of not advocating for his patients to begin green tea consumption or supplements.
Bettuzzi echoes the sentiments of caution expressed by Brooks and adds that these findings need subsequent validation through a larger study. He expressed concerns about the quality assurance of commercially available green tea supplements and the potential of them containing caffeine, pesticides, or other possible contaminants.
But until future research brings forth more solid evidence, Brooks recommends maintaining a healthy body weight to lower the risk of prostate cancer. He also emphasizes the importance of regular prostate cancer screening for men.
In another revelation made at the same event, researchers from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia announced that combined treatment of selenium with other anti-cancer substances could form a potent therapy against cancer. Selenium metabolite, when combined with a type of chemotherapy known as TRAIL, was found to induce higher cancer cell deaths.
For additional insights on the potential cancer prevention abilities of tea, you can visit the website of the National Cancer Institute.