Coffee Decreases Risk of Prostate Cancer

Men who have a regular intake of coffee seem to hold a reduced risk for getting a deadly type of prostate cancer, based on a recent research headed by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. This decreased risk was apparent among those men who took coffee regularly, whether regular or decaffeinated.

The study was printed just last May 17, 2011 on the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in an online edition.

Lorelei Mucci, senior author and associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH said that not many studies have looked into the connection between the intake of coffee and the risk for fatal prostate cancer, the kind of such disease that badly needs prevention measures. He said that their study is so far the biggest there is to investigate whether or not coffee can actually help decrease lethal prostate cancer risk. Lethal prostate cancer is one that spreads to the bones and usually brings about death.

Prostate cancer is quite common and is in fact the second foremost reasons for death from cancer among men in the U.S., affecting about one in every six men in their life. Over 2 million U.S. men and 16 million men from all over the world are survivors of prostate cancer.

Kathryn Wilson, lead author and research fellow in epidemiology at HSPH said that currently, they do not fully understand the risk factors that can still be adjusted or be handled to decrease lethal prostate cancer risk. She said that should their findings be validated, coffee could signify one changeable factor that could help reduce the risk of acquiring the most detrimental type of prostate cancer.

The researchers decided to investigate coffee mainly because it has a lot of compounds that are beneficial since these compounds act as antioxidants, decrease inflammation, as well as help control insulin. All of these could influence prostate cancer. Coffee has been linked in previous researches to reduce risk of Parkinson’s disease, gallstone disease, type 2 diabetes, and cirrhosis or liver cancer.

The study delved into the connection between prostate cancer risk and coffee intake, more specifically aggressive prostate cancer risk among 47,911 men in the U.S. in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who claimed coffee intake every four years starting 1986 until 2008. Throughout the period of the study, 5,035 prostate cancer cases where reported, and these included 642 cases that are lethal or metastatic.

Several of the results revealed the following:

  • Men who have the highest coffee intake (six cups or more everyday) had around 20% of decreased risk of acquiring any type of prostate cancer.
  • The inverse connection with coffee proved to be greater for aggressive type of prostate cancer. Men who took the highest amount of coffee had about 60% of reduced risk of acquiring lethal prostate cancer.
  • The decrease in the risk was evident in men who took either regular or decaffeinated coffee. Caffeine does not seem to be the key player.
  • Even just one to three cups of coffee intake each day was connected with a lower risk, about 30%, of lethal prostate cancer.
  • Coffee drinkers had a higher probability to smoke and a lesser probability to exercise. These behaviors actually may increase risk of advanced prostate cancer. These, along with various other lifestyle factors were manipulated in the study, yet coffee was still linked with a decreased risk.

The outcomes of this research still has to be verified in further populations that hold a range of exposure to coffee and a big number of cases of lethal prostate cancers. Once verified, the data will then be included in the list of several other possible health benefits that one can get from coffee. The authors, at the moment, are attempting further studies to be able to comprehend particular mechanisms as to how coffee may lower, specifically, lethal prostate cancer risk.

The research was backed by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the American Institute for Cancer Research.

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Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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