Men who drink more than seven cups of tea a day are more likely to develop prostate cancer, according to a new study.
Heavy tea drinkers have a 50 per cent higher risk of developing the disease. However, it is unclear whether tea is the risk factor, or whether tea drinkers lived to an age where cancer was more common.
Heavy tea drinkers have an increased risk of prostate cancer
A team of researchers from Glasgow University tracked the health of more than 6,000 male volunteers aged between 21 and 75 for 37 years.
The Midspan Collaborative Study began in Scotland in 1970. At the start of the study, the volunteers were asked to complete a questionnaire about consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol, smoking habits and general health. They also attended a screening examination.
Just under a quarter of men in the study were heavy tea drinkers. Of these, 6.4 per cent developed prostate cancer during the 37 years.
Writing in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, the researchers say that men who drank more than seven cups of tea per day had a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer than those who drank less than four cups a day.
However, the study did not take into consideration family history or any other dietary elements other than tea, coffee and alcohol intake.
Study leader Dr Kashif Shafique said: "Most previous research has shown either no relationship with prostate cancer for black tea or some preventive effect of green tea.
"We don't know whether tea itself is a risk factor or if tea drinkers are generally healthier and live to an older age when prostate cancer is more common anyway."
"We found that heavy tea drinkers were more likely not to be overweight, be non alcohol-drinkers and have healthy cholesterol levels.
"However, we did adjust for these differences in our analysis and still found that men who drank the most tea were at greater risk of prostate cancer."
For the best prostate cancer treatment in the UK, look for a private medical insurance policy with full cancer cover.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012