Saturday, December 21, 2013

Protect Your Prostate with Tea

  • From Ergo Log

    Hard evidence that synthetic testosterone and anabolic steroids increase the risk of prostate cancer is lacking, but going by the evidence in animal studies the chance that there's a relationship is considerable. Fortunately for all those inveterate users of androgens there are nutrients that counteract the negative effects of testosterone on the prostate. According to an animal study from the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre in Lucknow, India, they are present in ordinary black tea.

    Prostate cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in men, and the number of men with prostate cancer is growing rapidly. The official explanation for this is that doctors are getting better and better at discovering prostate cancer.

    For an overview of our articles on methods that reduce your chance of developing prostate cancer click here.

    Test-tube studies have shown that extracts of green and black tea inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. [Nutr Cancer. 1999;35(1):80-6.] There's plenty of research on the protective effect of green tea, [PubMed], but there's less on the protective effect of black tea.

    Black tea is fermented. The catechins found in large quantities in non-fermented green tea get stuck to each other during the fermentation process to form theaflavins and thearubigens.

    The Indians wanted to know whether black tea also has a protective effect on the prostate so they did an experiment with young male rats. For a period of five days some of the rats were given a daily injection of 5 mg testosterone per kg bodyweight. The human equivalent of this dose would be about half a gram of testosterone per week. Control groups were given injections containing inactive ingredients.

    One group of rats were given drinking water that contained 0.5 percent water-based black tea extract. The rats were given weak black tea in effect. Other groups were given drinking water with 1 and 1.5 percent extract. Water containing 1.5 percent extract is strong black tea.

    The administration of testosterone boosted the activity of protective enzymes in the prostate, including catalase, superoxide-dismutase, glutathione-reductase and glutathione-S-transferase. The figure below shows the effect on catalase. Black tea reduced the activity of the protective enzymes. That sounds like bad news, but in this case it's not.

    The figure above shows how the administration of testosterone activated the protective enzymes: the hormone boosted the concentration of malondialdehyde [MDA] in the prostate. Malondialdehyde is a marker for free radical activity: aggressive molecules that damage cells and can change healthy cells into cancer cells. As you can see, administration of black tea reduced the increase in the number of free radicals as a result of testosterone.

    The researchers don't know how tea extracts can have such a strong effect. But they do believe that they have shown that "aqueous tea extract inhibits the androgen mediated oxidative injury in the prostate".

    The human equivalent of the lowest dose that the Indians tried out would be three to four litres of black tea a day. Fortunately supplements are available. You’d need 6-8 g per day of a cheap, water-based extract.

    Cancer Lett. 2005 Sep 28;227(2):125-32.


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