More Tea on Your Prostate Vicar?

by DavalosMcCormack on June 26, 2009

Growing up in Ireland and England tea was a constant part of our daily life, the kettle was always full and ready to be fired up to make another pot of tea – just in case someone stopped by to visit or something terrible happened.

We didn’t think anything of it – tea was just something we drank all the time. And I do mean all the time.

But now I’m finding out that all that tea drinking may have been helping protect me against all manner of cancers and other nasty things.

Now we just drank the black stuff – no, not Guinness, at least not that young – I’m talking about black tea. Back then when it came to drinking tea you had two choices, black tea or no tea.

Since then all sorts of weird and wonderful teas have sprung up – including that most unnatural of creations, fruity teas, who in god’s name came up with that! – but the most popular seems to be green tea.

Since my youth lots of studies have shown that black tea is chock full of anti-oxidants and other cancer-fighting properties, but now the real focus of science seems to be on green tea; and that research is showing some pretty impressive findings.

The most recent came in a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. It was done by the folks at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Now, they cheated a little, instead of giving a group of men with prostate cancer green tea to drink they gave them pills packed with green tea extract. That’s probably not a bad thing when you consider they gave them the equivalent of 12 cups of tea a day – that’s a lot of tea, and it would be hard to carry out tests on a group of people shuttling between the kettle and the bathroom.

The researchers found that three key measures of tumor growth fell in the men taking the green tea pills, compared to a similar group not taking the pills – if you want the full details of the reduction in HGF, VEGf and PSA you’ll have to go to the researchers website)

The extract didn’t cure the cancer but it certainly slowed it down, and that’s no mean achievement.

Now, the study was only done in 26 men, which is too small a group to make any kind of generalizations, plus they used concentrated extract in pills and I don’t know that you can get those in stores. But still, it’s pretty impressive stuff.

And if it works in prostate cancer maybe it will work in other cancers too.

I know, that’s lots of “ifs” and “what ifs” and “maybes” and not enough science to support any of them. So at this point all we can say is fall back on that old research cliche, “more study is needed”.

And in my house that means “I’ll go and put the kettle on”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

colin wiles June 30, 2009 at 1:21 pm

This reminds me of recent research showing that masturbation also fends off prostate cancer. Apparently, there is a higher incidence of such cancers among Catholic priests (whether they are celibate is another matter!). All those years I spent at boarding school worrying about the evils of self abuse whn all the time I was preventing cancer in later life!

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