Coffee May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk



A large new study strongly links coffee consumption to a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer.


 

COFFEE MAY REDUCE PROSTATE CANCER RISK

An estimated 240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States in 2013, and nearly 30,000 American men will die from this form of cancer in 2013. As is the case with breast cancer in women, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer (other than skin cancer) in men and the second most common cause of cancer death in men. (Sadly, lung cancer, an almost completely preventable form of cancer, remains the #1 cancer killer in both men and women.) As I discuss in my cancer prevention book for lay readers (A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race), in the chapter dedicated to prostate cancer, there are multiple modifiable lifestyle factors that have been linked to prostate cancer risk.

Coffee consumption, like many other dietary factors potentially linked to prostate cancer risk, has been evaluated in several previous public health studies, but the data from these mostly small-scale studies has been contradictory. However, a newly published large-scale prospective public health study suggests that coffee consumption may, indeed, be associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing prostate cancer. This important new study appears in the current issue of theBritish Journal of Cancer.

This Japanese study recruited 18,853 men between the ages of 40 and 79 to participate in this very large prospective public health study. A previously validated survey was given to all of these men, and questions about dietary habits, including coffee consumption, were included in this survey. This very large group of middle-aged and elderly men was closely followed for an average of 11 years, during which 318 of these nearly 19,000 male volunteers were diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Compared with the men who did not drink coffee at all, men who drank coffee occasionally (i.e., less than one cup per day, on average) were 19 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer, although this finding did not quite reach statistical significance. As would be expected if coffee truly played a role in reducing prostate cancer risk, increasing levels of coffee consumption were associated with greater reductions in prostate cancer risk. For example, men who drank 1 to 2 cups of coffee per day were, on average, 27 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer (compared to nondrinkers), while men who drank 3 or more cups of coffee per day were 37 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. (These latter two findings were found to be statistically significant.)

While I frequently caution readers that the findings of most small-scale public health studies on disease prevention are not definitive, larger prospectively conducted public health studies, such as this one, and particularly studies with long-term follow-up (such as this one), are much more likely to generate valid observations and conclusions. Since there is little apparent downside to moderate coffee consumption, the findings of this study would appear to support the consumption of coffee (again, in moderation…) as a component of what I call, in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, an “evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle.” So, go ahead and have a cuppa joe, or two, each day, men!

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.


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Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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Coffee, Tea, Caffeine and Brain Cancer Risk

 

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“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



 

COFFEE, TEA, CAFFEINE AND BRAIN CANCER RISK

 

Coffee and tea are widely enjoyed around the world, and both have been the subject of numerous health claims (most of them unproven).  Tea, and green tea in particular, has been the focus of extensive research, with many prior studies suggesting that tea may improve cardiovascular health and, to a much lesser extent, may decrease the risk of some cancers.  Much of the published research regarding coffee has, on the other hand, been focused on trying to disprove purported links between coffee consumption and a potential increase in the risk of some cancers.  (Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of such research has not identified a strong link between moderate coffee consumption and an increased risk of cancer.)

 

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study is a huge ongoing prospective multinational public health study, and several of this enormous study’s preliminary results have already been published.  The EPIC study is focused on potential links between diet, nutritional status, lifestyle, and environmental factors and the incidence of cancer (among other chronic diseases). (EPIC is one of the largest studies of diet and health ever undertaken, and has already recruited 520,000 research volunteers in Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.)  Now, a new update from this historic public health study suggests that increased coffee and tea consumption may be associated with a decreased incidence of malignant brain tumors.  This new update from the EPIC study appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

 

Following an average duration of follow-up of nearly 9 years, 588 new cases of brain tumors were diagnosed among the EPIC research volunteers.  Gliomas, the most common and most aggressive type of brain tumors that occur in adults, were found to be 34 percent less common among people who drank at least 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) of coffee or tea per day.  (Although not statistically significant, this association was also noted to be stronger in men, with a 41 percent lower risk of gliomas in men, as compared to a 26 percent reduction in glioma incidence in women.)

 

Although it is not clear what causes gliomas of the brain, prior public health studies have at least suggested a link between glioma brain tumors and chronic occupational exposure to high-intensity electrical and magnetic fields, and to rubber and plastics manufacturing.  (As I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there is also some data linking prolonged cell phone use with an increased incidence of gliomas and other brain tumors.) 

 

Other smaller public health studies have also identified an apparent link between increased caffeine intake and a decreased incidence of gliomas, and there is laboratory evidence available suggesting that caffeine may reduce the growth of malignant glioma cells growing in culture dishes.  Thus, these new findings from the giant EPIC study further suggest the possibility that coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages might be able to reduce the risk of gliomas of the brain.

 

 

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Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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