Study findings suggest compounds found in green tea, known as green tea catechins (GTCs), may prevent the development of prostate cancer in men with a pre-cancerous condition called high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).
Study participants, all of whom had high-grade PIN, were given an inactive placebo preparation or one containing 600 milligrams of GTCs daily, equivalent to 12-15 cups of green tea infusion. After one year, only 3 percent in the GTC group developed prostate cancer, while 30 percent in the placebo group developed prostate cancer.
These findings coincide with previous observations of lower prostate cancer rates in populations with high intakes of GTCs and other polyphenols – antioxidants found in many plants. This has been seen specifically in populations that follow the Mediterranean diet, which tends to be very rich in vegetables, a common source of polyphenols.
Researchers note that there are studies strongly suggesting that similar results could be obtained for prevention of other types of cancer, such as breast and colon cancer. Further research is needed however.
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