Drink Up, Guys!
For those who enjoy it, coffee is one of life’s great pleasures. Most coffee drinkers have wondered, though, if they drink too much. Over the years we’ve been warned that caffeine, or coffee, or both, might be bad for us. But mounting research refutes this claim. In fact, coffee appears to be yet another example of a plant that delivers more than good flavor.
According to new research published by investigators at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, men who drink four or more cups of coffee daily are significantly less likely to develop recurrent prostate cancer, and/or to experience progression of existing prostate cancer.
Compared to men who drank only one cup of coffee each week, or less, men who drank four or more cups daily were nearly 60% less likely to experience a recurrence—or progression—of their previously diagnosed prostate cancer. The results mirror findings from the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which documented a 60% decreased risk of lethal prostate cancer among men who drank six or more cups of coffee per day.
Caffeine may inhibit the abnormal growth of cells, but coffee contains other phytochemicals (plant compounds) that may also help protect against cancer. These include cafestol, kahweol and chlorogenic acid. The latter prevents a process known to be involved in the development and progression of cancer. In fact, in the Harvard study, caffeine did not appear to play a role in the protective benefits of coffee drinking. Both caffeinated-coffee and decaffeinated-coffee drinkers fared better than men who drank neither beverage. So drink up, guys!
Wilson KM, Kasperzyk JL, Rider JR, Kenfield S, van Dam RM, Stampfer MJ, et al. Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk and progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Jun 8;103(11):876-84. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djr151. Epub 2011 May 17.