One in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, according to The American Cancer Society. In 2013 alone, they estimate nearly 240,000 new cases will be diagnosed and 29,720 men will die of prostate cancer. While statistics like this can seem frightening, a new study out of the Netherlands indicates something as simple as drinking tea could help reduce prostate cancer risk by 1/3.
Researchers found that drinking five or more cups of tea each day could reduce prostate cancer risk by one-third. The study concluded: “In conclusion, dietary flavonoid intake and black tea consumption were associated with a decreased risk of advanced stage prostate cancer.”
The scientists looked at data on 58,279 men, of which 3,363 had prostate cancer, including 1,164 cases of advanced cancer. By looking at how much tea the men drank and comparing this with their cancer rates, the researchers were able to find what they think is a connection.
Five or more cups of tea each day reduced the risk of developing stage IV prostate cancer by 33 percent. It also reduced the risk of cancer reaching stage II by 25 percent when compared with the men who only drank one cup each day.
How you take your tea, the researchers said, doesn’t seem to affect its protective qualities. In other words, if you like it with cream and sugar, it doesn’t reduce the anti-cancer benefits. Though it is best to omit these unnecessary additives.
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These benefits and more can be attributed to the flavonoids within the tea. Flavonoids are naturally occurring compounds that can reduce cancer risk, reduce inflammation, lessen the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and help prevent high blood pressure. They are found concentrated in apple skins, in high quality dark chocolate, onions, red wine, and a variety of other foods—including tea.
One cup of tea includes around 150 to 200 mg of flavonoids. Five cups may seem like a lot to the average person, but it is doable. In addition, let’s hope that flavonoids from other foods along with tea can be combined to protect against prostate cancer and other cancers.
Try keeping some brewed or sun-tea in the fridge. You can use it in your smoothies and juices as well. Or you can stick with the hot cup to help you wake up.
Be wary of inexpensive teas, though. A recent study indicated teas may have more than beneficial flavonoids—they may contain harmful levels of fluoride. So, if you are increasing your daily tea consumption, take steps to detox from the potential high fluoride ingestion.