Tea, hormone-related cancers and endogenous hormone levels

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2006 Feb;50(2):160-9. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200500142.


Tea is one of the most popular beverages consumed around the world, second only to water. There has been substantial interest in the potential role of tea in cancer prevention, particularly in respiratory and gastrointestinal tract cancers. Recent epidemiological data have linked tea intake to reduced risk of hormone-related cancers, including breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. Based on sparse data, there is suggestion that tea intake may influence circulating hormone levels, providing a plausible mechanism whereby tea intake may influence risk of hormone-related cancers. The major objectives of this paper are to review the epidemiological evidence on tea and risk of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers as well as the human and non-human studies on tea and circulating hormone levels. We pay special attention to some of the limitations of the human studies and discuss future research needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Hormones / blood
  • Hormones / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Neoplasms* / prevention & control
  • Ovarian Neoplasms
  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • Risk Factors
  • Tea* / chemistry


  • Hormones
  • Tea
  • Catechin
  • epigallocatechin gallate