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Green Tea and Prostate Health

Cup of Green Tea

New research suggests that green tea may help prevent the spread of prostate cancer. Specifically phytochemicals in green tea, called polyphenols attack growth factors and proteins, interrupting growth processes of tumors, thus preventing them from spreading to other organs.

Since earlier studies suggests that the same natural plant substances might also help prevent the start of prostate cancer, researchers indicate that more studies are needed on green tea's affect on fighting this common cancer. The best way to reduce your risk of prostate cancer still lies in eating a mostly vegetarian diet.

Studies on diet and cancer also show that green tea when tested with mice with an aggressive form of cancer can decrease the spread or metastasis of prostate cancer to liver, bone, and other parts of the body. Additional study of green tea may help develop a treatment to prevent the dormant, non threatening type of prostate cancer many men have in their 70's and 80's from becoming aggressive and fatal. Around six cups of green tea per day would contain the equivalent amount of polyphenols for individuals to help block the spread of cancer. Other data shows that the phytochemicals in green tea could inhibit the early phases of prostate cancer development.

The phytochemicals seem to increase the number of enzymes that help convert carcinogens to dormant, harmless forms. Many questions remain about the amount and frequency of green tea necessary to affect the formation of prostate cancer.

Black tea has shown similar benefits to green tea, although they appear to have lower levels of the beneficial substances than green tea. See also:   Coffee and Tea Facts, and/or Spiced Black Currant Tea Recipe

If you don't care for drinking tea or swallowing pills, a Green Tea Liquid Extract is available. Many green tea extracts are available, but not all are equal. The best green tea products will contain the optimal level of 50 percent naturally occurring catechins. A European phytopharmaceutical company produces Vitabase's Green Tea Extract. It is manufactured under strict European quality-control standards without the use of harsh solvents.

Whatever the benefits of green tea, it would be a mistake to rely on tea alone for prevention. Studies suggest a variety of nutritional influences on prostate cancer risk. The use of Vitamin E may offer some protection. The antioxidant mineral selenium also seems protective. Most Americans get adequate amounts of selenium, but these studies used nutrition supplements, so the study participants achieved higher intake levels. It waits to be seen whether men can protect themselves by taking supplements, including multivitamins, with selenium. If total selenium intake exceeds 400 mcg per day, nerve damage and other side effects can occur in the individual.

Other good foods for natural nutrition are blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, flaxseed, soybeans, and tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes are actually a far better source than raw tomatoes because the cooking process releases the lycopene from cells.

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