Tea For Two

Tea For Two

Women, brew up a pot of tea, sit down with your favorite male, and enjoy a comforting cup while sharing this e-Alert, which has something good for everyone.

Ladies first

When I first started writing these e-Alerts several years ago it seemed like every other study I came across concerned the benefits of drinking tea – especially green tea. So here we are, years later, and nearly every week I still find two or three new tea studies. And the reason for all this research is obvious: There are some remarkably good things going on in a simple cup of tea.

Most tea studies examine the pro-heart or anti-cancer benefits of tea drinking. But this month, the American Journal of Clinical nutrition published a study that will be of interest to women in the Sally Field generation.


  • Researchers at the University of Western Australia recruited 1,500 women over the age of 70
  • A specialized x-ray technique was used to measure bone mineral density (BMD) at the beginning of the study and again five years later
  • At five years, a little more than 1,000 of the women completed questionnaires to assess their frequency of tea intake during the study period
  • When their answers were compared to the x-rays, researchers found that total BMD in the hip was nearly 3 percent higher in tea drinkers compared to non-tea drinkers
  • Tea drinkers lost an average of 1.6 percent of their BMD over four years, while non-tea drinkers lost an average of 4 percent

Tea, red wine, and various fruits and vegetables are primary sources of polyphenols – natural antioxidants that the UWA researchers believe are responsible for the BMD benefit in their study. So when you choose a tea, note that green tea contains as much as four times more polyphenols than black tea.

Keep it green

Don’t worry, gentlemen – tea researchers haven’t forgotten you.

Last month, the American Journal of Epidemiology reported on a new prostate cancer study conducted by the National Cancer Center in Japan.


  • Nearly 50,000 men (aged 40 to 69 years) participated in the Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study
  • Medical records for each subject were followed for 12 to 15 years
  • Food frequency questionnaires were used to assess green tea consumption
  • At the end of the study period in 2004, more than 400 men had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and in 114 of these cases the cancer became advanced
  • Green tea intake had no preventive effect on prostate cancer, but researchers discovered a link between green tea intake and a reduced risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Results also showed that the beneficial effect of green tea was dose-dependent – subjects who consumed the most green tea were the least likely to have advanced prostate cancer

For many men, localized prostate cancer (that is, cancer that hasn’t spread) is such a slow-growing cancer that aggressive treatment may not be in order for elderly men. Advanced prostate cancer, however, is extremely dangerous.

For more information about the beneficial effects that green tea has on the immune system, see the e-Alert “Big Green Cancer-Fighting Machine” (9/5/07) at this link: http://www.hsionline.com/ealerts/ea200709/ea20070905a.html

“Tea Drinking is Associated with Benefits on Bone Density in Older Women” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 86, No. 4, October 2007, ajcn.org
“Green Tea Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk in Japanese Men: A Prospective Study” American Journal of Epidemiology, published online ahead of print 9/29/07, aje.oxfordjournals.org