Coffee Consumption and Reduced Risk of Prostate Cancer

More research is emerging that points to coffee consumption as a potential preventive agent against various diseases. A new report suggests that coffee consumption may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference revealed a strong inverse association between coffee consumption and the risk of lethal and advanced prostate cancers.

Kathryn M. Wilson, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the Channing Laboratory, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health reported that "Coffee has effects on insulin and glucose metabolism as well as sex hormone levels, all of which play a role in prostate cancer. It was plausible that there may be an association between coffee and prostate cancer,"

The investigation found that men who drank the most coffee had a 60% lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer than men  who did not drink coffee at all. The study was also the first that examined overall risk as well as localized risk of advanced and lethal prostate cancer disease.

"Few studies have looked prospectively at this association, and none have looked at coffee and specific prostate cancer outcomes," said Wilson. "We specifically looked at different types of prostate cancer, such as advanced vs. localized cancers or high-grade vs. low-grade cancers."

Similar to the research that examined the impact of coffee and Diabetes, the researchers do not believe that caffeine is the key factor. In the review of diabetic study both caffeinated and decaffeinated beverages were use producing similar preventive results. However, coffee is a rich blend of biologically active compounds. Such as antioxidants, acids and minerals, each of which or synergistically could produce the protective effects.

The research studied t nearly 50,000 men from 1986 to 2006, comparing coffee consumption and other lifestyle factors. Of this group nearly 10% developed prostate cancer researchers documented the regular and decaffeinated coffee intake of nearly 50,000 men every four years from 1986 to 2006;  They also examined the cross-sectional association between coffee consumption and levels of circulating hormones in blood samples collected from a subset of men in the cohort.

"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," said Wilson. "Our results do suggest there is no reason to stop drinking coffee out of any concern about prostate cancer."

This association might also help understand the biology of prostate cancer and possible chemoprevention measures.


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