Drinking tea could increase risk of prostate cancer
Men who drink high amounts of tea each day may be at a heightened risk of developing prostate cancer, a new study in Scotland suggests.
Researchers at Glasgow University looked into the tea drinking habits of more than 6,000 men over a 37 year period and found that those which consumed more than seven cups of the beverage each day were 50 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than moderate drinkers.
In Scotland prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in males and the number of diagnosed cases grew by 7.4 per cent between 2000 and 2010.
The men used in the study varied between the age of 21 and 75 when it began in 1970.
They were each asked to complete a questionnaire about how much tea, coffee and alcohol they consumed each day as well as much they smoked.
Of the 6,016 people in the study, just under a quarter were deemed to be excessive tea drinkers and of that number 6.4 per cent went on to develop prostate cancer.
Dr Kashif Shafique of Glasgow University's Institute of Health and Wellbeing, 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."
The study was published in the Nutrition and Cancer journal.