Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size

Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Green Tea


This section contains the following key information:

Recommended Related to Prostate Cancer

John McEnroe Serves Up Prostate Cancer Information

His father's prostate cancer changed tennis legend John McEnroe, who turned 50 in February. McEnroe used to have at least one thing in common with ordinary guys: He rarely saw a doctor or gave his own health a lot of thought. That all changed five years ago, when his dad, now 74, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. "It really raised my awareness level," says the four-time U.S. Open champ. He scheduled his first prostate-specific antigen test -- a screening test for prostate cancer that's also called...

Read the John McEnroe Serves Up Prostate Cancer Information article > >

  • All tea originates from the Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze plant, and the methods by which the leaves are processed determine the type of tea produced. For green tea, the leaves are steamed and dried.
  • Some research suggests that green tea may have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease and against various forms of cancer, including prostate cancer.
  • Catechins are polyphenol compounds in tea that are associated with many of tea's proposed health benefits.
  • Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most abundant catechin in tea, acts as an androgen antagonist and can suppress prostate cancer cell proliferation, suppress production of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) by prostate cancer cells, and increase prostate cancer cell death in vitro.
  • Results from one in vitro study showed that prostate cancer cells were less susceptible to radiation -induced apoptosis when exposed to EGCG 30 minutes before radiation exposure.
  • Oral intake of either a green tea catechin solution or EGCG alone was associated with reduced development of prostate cancer in studies with transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) mice.
  • Epidemiologic studies of Japanese men have generally not shown a relationship between reported green tea consumption and prostate cancer development, but at least one study has shown an association with the development of advanced prostate cancer.
  • Results from a small placebo-controlled study of green tea catechins in men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) showed a statistically significant decrease in the development of prostate cancer among men who were randomly assigned to receive the catechin supplement. A larger, multicenter, randomized trial is now under way.
  • Studies of orally administered mixtures of tea catechins in men with prostate cancer have begun to provide information about biologic effects in this setting but are too preliminary to draw conclusions about clinical effectiveness.
  • Green tea has been well tolerated in clinical studies of prostate cancer patients, with the most common side effects being mild gastrointestinal symptoms.

General Information and History

Sailors first brought tea to England in 1644, although tea has been popular in Asia since ancient times. After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world.[1] Tea originates from the C. sinensis plant, and the methods by which the leaves are processed determine the type of tea produced. Green tea is not fermented but is made by an enzyme deactivation step where intensive heat (i.e., roasting the freshly collected tea leaves in a wok or, historically, steaming the leaves) is applied to preserve the tea's polyphenols (catechins) and freshness. In contrast, the enzyme catalyzed polymerization and oxidation of catechins and other components produces darker colored black tea.[2] Oolong, a third major type of tea, contains polyphenols that are partially oxidized.[1]

    Next Article:

    Prostate Cancer, Nutrition, and Dietary Supplements (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] Topics

    Today on WebMD

    man with doctor
    Symptoms, risks, treatments
    man coughing
    Men shouldn’t ignore
    prostate cancer cells
    What does this diagnosis mean?
    doctor and male patient
    Is it worth it?
    cancer fighting foods
    15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
    Prostate Enlarged
    Picture Of The Prostate
    Prostate Cancer Quiz
    screening tests for men
    Prostate Cancer Symptoms
    Vitamin D