Harvard: Coffee Cuts Cancer Risk

May 29th, 2011

This article gives us reason to drink coffee, but I don’t recommend the six cups mentioned in the study — that much can cause other problems!

By Roni Caryn Rabin for the New York Times: If that’s java in your cup, drink up. A new study says that men who are heavy coffee drinkers are at lower risk for prostate cancer.

As part of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, Harvard scientists followed 47,911 men who periodically described their coffee intake. The researchers found those who consumed six or more cups a day were almost 20 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer over two decades than those who drank none.

More important, the heavy coffee drinkers were 60 percent less likely than the non-drinkers to develop a lethal form of the disease. Even men who drank just one to three cups of coffee benefited: They were nearly 30 percent less likely to develop lethal prostate cancer, the study said.

It did not matter whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaffeinated. (Remember that decaf is more acidic than regular, so regular makes sense for those with reflux or heartburn, or those trying to maintain an alkaline diet.  With palpitations or a heart condition, decaf may be better.– Cathie) 

The study, published online in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is one of the first to link coffee consumption to a lower risk of prostate cancer. Coffee is a major dietary source of antioxidants, and other studies have suggested that drinking it is associated with health benefits including a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“We’re not yet telling men to drink more coffee,” said the study’s lead author, Kathryn M. Wilson, “but there’s mounting evidence that if they do, they don’t have to worry about it.


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