Cancer link for men who drink tea by the gallon
DRINKING large amounts of tea could increase the risk of prostate cancer, research has shown.
Scientists in Scotland found that more than seven cups a day raised the chances of men developing the disease by 50 per cent.
But whether the link is causal or due to coincidence is still unknown.
Researchers at Glasgow University’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing tracked the health of more than 6,000 male volunteers over a period of 37 years.
They discovered that those who drank more than seven cups of tea per day had a 50 per cent higher risk of developing prostate cancer compared with non-tea drinkers or those drinking fewer than four cups per day.
The “Midspan Collaborative” study began in Scotland in 1970 and gathered data from more than 6,000 male volunteers, all between 21 and 75 years of age.
Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their usual consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol, smoking habits and general health, and attended a screening examination.
Just under a quarter of the 6,016 men included in the study were heavy tea drinkers. Of these, 6.4 per cent developed prostate cancer during a follow-up of up to 37 years.
Researchers found that men who drank more than seven cups of tea per day had a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer compared to those who drank no tea or less than 4 cups per day.
The study, which is published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, was led by Dr Kashif Shafique.
Dr 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.
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