Coffee May Cut Risk of Prostate Cancer
Study Shows Regular Coffee Drinkers Have 60% Lower Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer
Dec. 7, 2009 -- Drinking coffee regularly may help lower the risk of
advanced prostate cancer, a study shows.
The study, presented this week at a conference of the American Association
for Cancer Research in Houston, shows men who drank the most coffee were nearly
60% less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than non-coffee
Researchers say it's too early to start recommending that men start drinking
coffee to help prevent prostate cancer, but the results are encouraging.
"Very few lifestyle factors have been consistently associated with prostate
cancer risk, especially with risk of aggressive disease, so it would be very
exciting if this association is confirmed in other studies," says researcher
Kathryn M. Wilson, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the Channing Laboratory,
Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, in a news
release. "Our results do suggest there is no reason to stop drinking coffee out
of any concern about prostate cancer."
Researchers say it's the first study of its kind to look prospectively at
both the overall risk of prostate cancer and the risk of localized vs. advanced
prostate cancer that has spread beyond the prostate.
In the study, researchers analyzed information from the Health
Professionals' Follow-Up Study, which included data on the coffee-drinking
habits of nearly 50,000 men from 1986 to 2006. During that time period, 4,975
of the men developed prostate cancer.
The results showed men who drank the most coffee (six or more cups per day)
had a 59% lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer (fatal or advanced disease)
compared to non-coffee drinkers.
But researchers say it's not just the caffeine that's responsible for the
prostate cancer prevention benefits. The study showed men who drank
decaffeinated coffee also had a similar reduction in aggressive prostate cancer
Researchers say coffee also contains many other potentially beneficial
compounds such as antioxidants and minerals that may play a role in preventing
prostate cancer and more research is needed to confirm these results.
"Coffee has effects on insulin and glucose metabolism as well as sex hormone
levels, all of which play a role in prostate cancer," says Wilson.