Drinking green tea may help prevent prostate cancer in men with high risk of developing the disease, suggests a research led by an Indian-origin scientist.
The researchers, led by Nagi Kumar from Moffitt Cancer Center in the US, assessed the safety and effectiveness of the active components in green tea to prevent prostate cancer development in men who have premalignant lesions.
The researchers administered decaffeinated green tea capsules called Polyphenon E that contained a mixture of green tea substance called "catechins" twice a day.
Laboratory studies have shown that catechins inhibit cancer cell growth, motility and invasion, and stimulate cancer cell death.
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The researchers compared the effects of Polyphenon E in 49 men to placebo tablets in 48 men over a one year treatment period.
The researchers found that people who had taken the green tea capsule had a significant decrease in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.
PSA is a biomarker that in combination with other risk factors is used to screen patients for prostate cancer, and high levels signify a higher risk of prostate cancer.
Green tea catechins also prevent and reduce tumour growth in animal models, the study noted.
Twenty percent of green tea is consumed in Asian countries where prostate cancer death rates are among the lowest in the world, the researchers said.
The study was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.