Coffee May Offer Prostate Cancer Protection
Coffee consumption should be carefully measured against a person's overall health needs and goals
If you're a man interested in reducing prostate cancer risk--and all men should be--a new study about the potential health benefits of coffee may have you getting extra satisfaction from your next cup.
With or without caffeine
To look at the relationship between coffee drinking and prostate cancer risk, researchers began collecting information in 1986 on coffee drinking habits and other health-related behaviors, such as physical activity and diet from 47,911 men. Information was collected every four years until 2006 and the instances of prostate cancer were tracked as well.
After accounting for other factors that may affect prostate cancer risk, researchers found that compared with men drinking no coffee, men who drank an average of 6 or more cups (not mugs) of coffee (regular or decaf) per day had:
It is important to note that this study design shows an association, it does not actually demonstrate cause and effect. So while coffee may be a reasonable part of a prostate cancer prevention program, it should not be relied upon as an only measure and overall risks and prevention steps should be discussed with a doctor.
Choosing coffee wisely
For some people, 6 or more cups of coffee per day may influence health in ways that are less desirable, such as interfering with sleep or irritating stomach conditions, so consumption should be carefully measured against a person's overall health needs and goals. Use our tips to consider whether more coffee is a good idea for you, and what other steps you can take to reduce your prostate cancer risk.
(J Natl Cancer Inst 2011; 103:1-9)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.