O Christmas tea

First, I’d like to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone out there who is celebrating today. I hope you’re all enjoying a relaxing, happy, and healthy holiday.

And while you’re at it, why not make it a green one, too?

No, I’m not talking about your Christmas tree–I’m talking about green tea. It’s been a healing staple for centuries. And today, I’m happy to report an exciting modern use for this delicious beverage.

According to a recent study, drinking a lot of green tea might block the growth of prostate cancer tumors. How? By decreasing inflammation and stimulating the cells to break apart.

Participants in this new study consumed 6 cups of green tea daily. After two months, these subjects’ serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were significantly lower than they were at the start of the study. Expression of PSA protein in prostate tissue was lower, too.

Meanwhile, PSA levels didn’t change in the control group.

Researchers also observed changes in telltale biomarkers among the green tea drinkers. Levels of a specific inflammatory marker called NFkappaB declined significantly in this group’s prostate tumors. And trends in other key markers pointed to a potential for slowed tumor growth and increased cancer cell death.

What’s more, the researchers found bioactive catechins present in the prostate tissue of the men drinking green tea–most notably, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).

All of this, of course, shows how inflammation ties into the development of prostate cancer. It also clearly illustrates that green tea’s powerful antioxidant compounds go directly to your prostate to fight this inflammation.

And yet, experts weighing in on the study insist that doctors shouldn’t be making any recommendations based on its results. Even though this isn’t the first study of its kind.

Back in 2006, an Italian study demonstrated that green tea catechins stall prostate cancer progression without any significant health risks. But we’re supposed to wait to encourage prostate cancer patients to drink up until we know for sure?

Excuse me, but how much sense does that make?

I’ll tell you how much: NONE. But luckily, I don’t need anyone’s permission to dole out good, logical advice.

Pour yourself a cup of green tea today, whether you’re concerned about your prostate health or not. It’s one of the simplest, tastiest ways to take on inflammation throughout your entire body. And in the fight against cancer, every little bit of help counts.

Nelson, Roxanne. “Potential prostate cancer inhibitor: green tea?” Medscape Medical News 22 Oct 2012.