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Drinking Seven or More Cups of Tea Everyday Can Cause Prostate Cancer in Men: Study

Update Date: Jun 20, 2012 01:19 PM EDT

Researchers warn men, who drink a lot of tea, of danger of contracting prostate cancer.

A new study has found that men who drink seven cups or more of tea every day are at 50% higher risk of developing prostate cancer than others who have less than three cups a day.

The study was conducted by the researchers at the University of Glasgow, who tracked the health of more than 6,000 men for four decades. The study results negated previous studies which claimed that tea drinking reduced the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

For the study, which was led by Dr Kashif Shafique in 1970, participants between the age of 21 and 75 were asked to fill out a questionnaire which asked about details pertaining to their tea consumption habits, smoking habits and general health. They were also asked to undergo a screening.

The results revealed that out of the heavy tea drinkers (more than 7 cups a day), 6.4 percent contracted prostate cancer over the period of 37 years.

Apparently, the people who developed the disease lived a healthy lifestyle and most of them were teetotalers, and thus had lower risk contracting the disease from other "competing causes," the journal Nutrition and Cancer reports.

 "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," Dr Shafique was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

He also said that people who consumed more tea were less likely to be overweight or drinking and mostly had 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," he said.

He added that his team, however, was "unaware of any constituent of black tea that may be responsible for carcinogenic activity in prostate cells," said the report.

"Whilst it does appear that those who drank seven or more cups of tea each day had an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, this did not take into consideration family history or any other dietary elements other than tea, coffee and alcohol intake. It is therefore unclear as to whether there were other factors in play which may have had a greater impact on risk," Dr Kate Holmes, head of research at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said.

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