Men who drink more than seven cups of tea a day could be at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer, a study has revealed.
A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland has found those that consume high amounts of tea are 50 percent more likely to develop the disease than men who drink three cups a day or less.
However, they have admitted they do not know if the link is just a coincidence; it might be that the heavy tea drinkers just lived to an age when prostate cancer is more common.
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They came to their conclusion after tracking the health of more than 6,000 male volunteers over a period of 37 years.
Participants were aged between 21 and 75, and provided the team with information about their consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol, as well as information about their general health and details of any smoking habits.
Almost a quarter of those involved in the study drank seven cups of tea a day or more, and of that proportion, 6.4 percent suffered from prostate cancer.
The researchers also identified their risk of developing the disease was significantly higher than those who drank less tea, and they said that for every cup of tea consumed over seven cups, the risk increases.
The study was led by Dr Kashif Shafique, from the university’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing.
Commenting on the results he 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 results of the research has been rebuffed by tea experts; members of the UK Tea Council and its Tea Advisory Panel, who have said they contradict the results of previous studies.
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