Treating Prostate Cancer with Green Tea

Treating Prostate Cancer with Green Tea

“Treating Prostate Cancer with Green Tea” Green tea has been called nature’s defense
against cancer. Population studies linking green tea consumption
with lower cancer risk have led some to advocate for the incorporation
of green tea into the diet— after all, what’s the downside? However, population studies
can’t prove cause and effect. It’s not possible to determine whether green tea actually prevents cancer in people,
until you put it to the test. Prostate cancer is preceded by a precancerous
condition known as intraepithelial neoplasia. Within 1 year, about 30% of
such lesions turn into cancer. Because no treatment is given to
patients until cancer is diagnosed, what a perfect opportunity to try green tea. So, 60 men with precancerous prostate intraepithelial
neoplasia were randomized into either a green tea group
or a placebo group. It’s hard to make a convincing placebo tea;
so, they used green tea pills— roughly equivalent to about
6 cups of green tea a day— compared to sugar pills. Six months into the study, they took biopsies
from everyone, and in the placebo group, 6 of the 30 developed
cancer by the halfway point, and then 3 of the remaining 24
by the end of the year. So, 9 out of 30 in the placebo group developed
cancer or 30%, which is what normally happens
when you don’t do anything: about 30% go on to develop cancer
within the first year. But, in the green tea group, none developed
cancer within the first 6 months, and only 1 by the end of the year. So, only one out of 30, nearly ten times
less than the placebo group: the first demonstration that green tea compounds
could be very effective for treating premalignant lesions
before prostate cancer develops. And, even a year later, after they
stopped the green tea, nearly 90% of the original green tea
group remained cancer free, while more than half of the
placebo group developed cancer. This suggests that the benefits of
the green tea may be long lasting, overall a nearly 80% reduction
in prostate cancer. That is pretty impressive. What if you already have prostate cancer? A proprietary green tea extract supplement
was given to 26 men with confirmed prostate cancer for an average of about a month before they
had their prostates removed and there was a significant reduction
in a number of cancer biomarkers such as PSA levels, suggesting a
shrinkage of the tumor, but there was no control group and the study
was funded by the supplement company itself. When an independent group of researchers tried
to replicate the results in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial they
failed to find any statistically significant improvement. So, maybe green tea is only effective
in the precancerous state but not powerful enough to impact
overt prostate cancer. Certainly didn’t seem to help for advanced
metastatic cancer in the two studies that tried it. And recently, doubt has been cast
on the precancerous results. When researchers tried to replicate it, the
green tea extract group only seemed to cut prostate cancer development
about in half, which, because of the small number of
people in the study may very well have happened just by chance. So, where does that leave us? Unfortunately, green tea extract pills are
not without risk— there’s been about a dozen case reports
of liver damage associated with their use; and so, until there’s more solid evidence
of benefit I’d stick with just drinking the tea. OK, green or black? A recent study that randomized about a hundred
men with prostate cancer to consume 6 cups a day of green or black tea found a
significant drop in PSA levels and NF-kB in the green tea group but not the
black tea or control groups. NF-kB is thought to be a prognostic marker
for prostate cancer progression; and so, the green tea appeared to work better
than the black.

51 thoughts on “Treating Prostate Cancer with Green Tea

  1. I was a little surprised to hear that Dr Goldhamer doesn't allow patients to drink even green tea at his clinic due to the caffeine. Green tea would be far down the 'forbidden' list for me. Thanks for another great video 🙂

  2. Hello Dr. Greger. I'm a recent subscriber and purchaser of your latest book "How Not To Die". Your research is fascinating and very informative. You have talked about important death preventing nutrition and reversing various diseases. I was wondering if you could speak on something less important but still applicable to your line of work. Can you PLEASE make a video on the topic of muscle building on a whole food plant Based diet? There's a lot of mistrust in the Fitness community. People are still saying to get 1gram of protein per pound of body weight, and other strange bro science such as that. Most of your subscribers might be into preventing and/or curing diseases but I don't believe I'm the only one searching for the proper eating routine to successfully add muscle mass THE CORRECT WAY. Hope this message reaches you, I know I could trust someone with your background to provide the proper information on such a topic. 
    Many Thanks!

  3. thanks for the info dr greger. good to hear more about tea, iv been drinking 10 cups of green tea lately for the caffine with lime and sweetened with homemade date liquid. use to drink 10 cups of black tea,but heard your video talking about lead in black tea so i changed to green tea.

  4. So, as I thought, basically green tea consumption is either benign or only mildly beneficial. No need for anyone to start drinking green tea by the liter. I think it's safe to say there is no miracle food. The only thing you can do to minimize your risk of dying prematurely is to exercise lightly and regularly and to consume unprocessed plant-based foods.

  5. The numbers in those studies are way to small. Why do they even begin a study with such numbers? Crazy. I suppose they still get paid anyway. Better of drinking water.

  6. Hi Dr. Greger,

    Sorry – late as always to the comments section…. Okay, so green tea is great. But what if we take our green tea as matcha? Do you know what is the equivalent amount of matcha to 6 cups of green tea? Thanks!

  7. I bought HOW NOT TO DIE. It's wonderful. I'm going to have to go through it a 2nd time to take some actual notes so I can explain all of this to my friends. I would like to encourage people I know to read the book.

  8. Thank you Dr. Greger.

    This study shows maximum benefit for 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine reduction at 500mg GTE, even better than for 1000mg, so GTE might be able lower liver cancer risk. More is not better apparently here.

    From the articles I've read the liver toxicity was caused by high doses, and the effect is reversed upon stopping the pills. Maybe around 400mg would lower the risks of toxicity while keeping most of the benefits. But it's still probably better to drink it.

  9. Have you heard of the benifets of morenga powder I don't know if it's real or not and if it's beneficial to us

  10. Dr. Greger, please put the links to the studies in the description

    Meat eaters are complaining that you are cherry picking the studies

    They want to read the studies, not just see a picture of them in the video and trust your opinion.

    there is no advantage to not put a link to the study where people can read the source you are reading.


  11. I just finished your book "How not to die". Really great! I have a question. You mentioned that you would advise avoiding Kombucha tea. I want to know specifically why. A good friend of mine SWEARS by it and is convinced it is a part of good digestion. My digestion is FINE and I don't want to screw that up.Can you please give us a specific reason?Thanks so much!!!

  12. So I just went and looked up all the catechin levels of all the teas that have been tested. The levels vary and the brand I use was not in any studies. Therefore, I will be switching to the highest level tested brand, Celestial Seasonings. And it is a brand common in every store. YAY. Homebrewed iced tea is my beverage of choice with fresh squeezed lemon juice. I also make my own kombucha and use green, white and black teas for the base then do a second ferment with herbal flavors.


    In the October 1992 issue of this publication, I wrote an
    article about the cancer prevention potential of green tea
    extract. I based my article on about 100 scientific papers.
    If you search the National Library of Medicine database
    today, you’ll find over 1,000 studies relating to green
    tea and overall cancer prevention.
    In June 2005, the FDA went to considerable effort to
    publish a position paper stating:
    “…it is highly unlikely that green tea
    reduces the risk of prostate cancer.”1
    This prompted me to write a rebuttal in the November
    2005 issue of this magazine exposing flaws and omissions
    in the FDA’s report.2
    The most egregious omission was a study presented
    at the 96th American Association for Cancer Research
    Meeting, where men with premalignant prostate
    disease where given 600 mg a day of a green tea extract
    supplement or placebo. The men taking green tea
    extract were 90% less likely to progress to prostate
    cancer compared to the placebo group after
    one year.3
    While this study was relatively small, the FDA pretended
    as if this favorable data did not exist when disseminating
    their report questioning whether green tea
    had cancer protective effects.
    The FDA later attacked a maker of green tea leaves
    that dared to state on their label: “green tea may prevent
    prostate and breast cancer.”
    As reported in the July 2012 issue of this publication,
    a Federal Court ruled against FDA’s attempt to censor an
    anti-cancer claim on the box of these green tea leaves.4
    Move forward to 2017 and the totality of evidence
    supporting a role for green tea in cancer prevention has
    greatly expanded.

  14. My dad drank black tea everyday and had prostate cancer. He never took green tea. I drink green, at 41 my psa remains low. Not evidence of much but and interesting thought. I am also vegan and he ate standard Mediterranean meat centered diet. I have been plant based for 11 years.


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