Five teas a day 'cuts prostate cancer risk'

Drinking five or more cups of tea a day lowers the risk of advanced prostate cancer by a third, research shows. Men who drink five or more cups daily have a 33% lower risk of developing stage IV prostate cancer, scientists found. They also have a 25% reduced risk of reaching stage II compared to those who drink just one cup a day.

Stage II is where the tumour has grown inside the prostate gland but not spread. By stage IV, the cancer has typically spread to the lymph nodes, bones or liver. It is believed that naturally occurring compounds in tea called flavonoids inhibit cancer cells from forming tumours.

The good news is that it doesn't matter if you have milk, sugar, sweetener or lemon in your tea. The health benefits are not reduced.

Scientists in the Netherlands analysed data on 58,279 men and found 3,362 cases of prostate cancer, including 1,164 advanced cancers. By finding out how much tea the men drank and what foods they ate, they were able to compare their lack of flavonoid intake with their health record.

Dr. Milan Geybels, lead researcher at Maastricht University said 'We had data on tumour stage for most cases which made it possible to stratify data against the stage of the disease. Our study included a large number of advanced stage prostate cancers.'

One cup of tea provides about 150-200mg of flavonoids and it is the richest source in the British diet. Each year about 41,000 men in the UK are diagnosed with prostate cancer and almost 11,000 die from the disease.