If you’re worried about your prostate, science says the polyphenols in green tea may help. Find out how, and if they could benefit your prostate health
Want an easy way to look after your prostate? Try drinking green tea every day. The benefits of green tea are multiple, and it’s rich in polyphenols that are thought to be important for prostate health.1,2
Polyphenols are chemicals that occur naturally in certain fruit and veg – including berries, citrus fruits, apples, broccoli, tea, coffee and chocolate – which have been shown to have an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effect on the body.3,4
What is the prostate?
It’s a small gland found just under the bladder in men, surrounding the urethra. The prostate produces fluid that’s mixed into semen, which helps sperm to swim. It also converts the male hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, a form the body can use more easily.5
How do polyphenols support prostate health?
The prostate is thought to absorb polyphenols more easily than other parts of the body, making it more receptive to their health-giving benefits.6 A 2006 study published in The Journal of Nutrition reported that tea polyphenols were found in the prostates of men who had been drinking green or black tea.7
Green tea and an enlarged prostate
As you age, you may encounter prostate problems, as your prostate can grow and press on the urethra, causing urinary issues. This condition is called an enlarged prostate or, in medical terms, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It’s very common in men aged over 50.8,9
But green tea is rich in a particular type of polyphenols called catechins that are thought to help an enlarged prostate, in particular the potent epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).10 A 2017 study published in Life Sciences found that EGCG reduced the over-production of cells which happens during the development of an enlarged prostate.11
How green tea can support prostatitis
Chronic prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate gland, is another prostate condition that could be soothed by a polyphenol in green tea – this time the bioflavonoid quercetin.12,13
A study published in 1999 in Urology found that around two thirds of men with prostate problems like chronic prostatitis who took quercetin every day saw their symptoms improve by at least 25%.14
Handpicked content: 5 healthy reasons to drink green tea
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
Shop our Vitamins & Supplements range.
1. Medical News Today. Why are polyphenols good for you? Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319728.php
2. Singhal K, et al. Probable benefits of green tea with genetic implications. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5406788/
3. As above
4. Williamson G. The role of polyphenols in modern nutrition. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5601283/
5. PubMed Health. How does the prostate work? Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072475/
6. Medical News Today. Is green tea good for BPH? Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321887.php
7. Henning SM, et al. Tea Polyphenols and Theaflavins are Present in Prostate Tissue of Humans and Mice After Green and Black Tea Consumption. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/136/7/1839/4664664
8. NHS Choices. Benign prostate enlargement. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/prostate-enlargement/
9. MedicineNet. Enlarged prostate gland. Available from: https://www.medicinenet.com/benign_prostatic_hyperplasia/article.htm#enlarged_prostate_bph_definition_and_facts
10. Prostate.net. Does using green tea to treat prostatitis work? Available from: https://prostate.net/articles/green-tea-prostatitis-treatment/
11. Tepedelen BE, Soya E, Korkmaz M. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate reduces the proliferation of benign prostatic hyperplasia cells via regulation of focal adhesions. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29032114
12. As Source 10
13. Khan N and Mukhtar H. Tea and Health: Studies in Humans. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055352/
14. Shoskes DA, et al. Quercetin in men with category III chronic prostatitis: a preliminary prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10604689