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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According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


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


 

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.  Over the past 12 months, 3.2 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we 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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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


 

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Coffee & the Risk of Death from Heart Disease & Cancer

May 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Weekly Health Update

 

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

COFFEE & THE RISK OF DEATH FROM HEART DISEASE & CANCER

Last month, I reviewed research showing that increased coffee consumption was associated with a decrease in inflammation and an increase in HDL cholesterol (the “good cholesterol”).  However, as I noted in that column, this small study did not address any long-term health outcomes of frequent coffee consumption (Coffee Improves HDL Cholesterol Levels).  Now, a newly published prospective public health study, from Japan, suggests that regular coffee consumption may, indeed, have long-term health benefits (at least for half of the population…).  (I should also note that, as a disclaimer, I am not a coffee drinker, despite reviewing two coffee-related health research studies in as many months!)

The results of this large Japanese research study appear in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition.  In this prospective epidemiological study, 18,287 men and 19,455 women (between the ages of 40 and 64 years) were prospectively included in the Miyagi Cohort Study, which began in 1990.  All of these study volunteers were without any clinical history of cancer, heart disease, or stroke when they entered into the Study.  After an average of more than 10 years of follow-up, 2,454 of the volunteers died from various causes, including 426 cases of fatal cardiovascular disease and 724 fatal cases of cancer. 

These volunteers were categorized and analyzed according to their self-reported daily consumption of coffee: “never-drinkers,” “occasional-drinkers,” 1 to 2 cups per day, and 3 or more cups per day.  Other known risk factors for cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke) and cancer were also factored into the analysis of the risk of death associated with coffee consumption for each volunteer.

Among the women in this study, increasing levels of daily coffee consumption were associated a decreasing risk of death, due to any cause.  (This “dose-dependent” relationship between daily coffee consumption and risk of death strongly suggests a direct clinical relationship between increased coffee consumption and a decreased risk of death.)  When compared to the women who did not drink coffee at all, the women who drank 3 or more cups of java per day were 25 percent less likely to die, from any cause, during this decade-long public health study.  The coffee-associated reduction in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease was even more powerful (and also appeared to be “dose-dependent”), as the women who downed 3 or more cups of coffee per day experienced a whopping 55 percent decrease in the risk of death due to cardiovascular causes!  Finally, there was an apparent modest decrease in the risk of dying from colorectal cancer among the female coffee drinkers, but no other reduction in the risk of dying from cancer was observed in association with regular coffee consumption among these women volunteers.

Well, I have just shared with you the good news regarding reduced death rates associated with regular coffee consumption from this large, prospective, long-term public health study; and many of you will notice that I have not yet mentioned the health impact of coffee on men!   This is because, unfortunately, this study did not identify any apparent beneficial health effects of regular coffee consumption in men.  The reason, or reasons, for this gender-related disparity is not clear, although it is well known that there are major differences in both the incidence of cardiovascular disease between men and women, and differences in the way that cardiovascular diseases (and heart disease, in particular) manifest themselves in women versus men.  It is, therefore, possible, that cardiovascular disease factors that are more unique to women are directly impacted upon by regular coffee consumption.  (At least no adverse effects of regular coffee consumption on male mortality were observed in this large public health study!)

So, ladies, keep the favorable results of this clinical research study in mind whenever you order that next cuppa Joe!

 

To learn more about the role of coffee, and other sources of dietary tannins, as potential cancer prevention nutrients, look for the publication of my new landmark evidence-based book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the summer of this year.



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



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

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I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the nearly 120,000 new and returning readers who visited our premier global health information website last month.  As always, we 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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Coffee Improves HDL Cholesterol Levels

April 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Weekly Health Update

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



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

COFFEE IMPROVES HDL CHOLESTEROL LEVELS

Coffee is the second most commonly traded commodity in the world (following oil), and is widely consumed around the world as the second most popular beverage (after water). It is estimated that the coffee industry generates some $60 billion in revenue every year.

In the United States, coffee drinkers consume an average of 3 cups of this caffeine-loaded beverage each day. (Slightly more than 50 percent of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis, while another 30 percent of the population drinks coffee on an occasional basis.)

Many health claims have been for coffee, although few have withstood the scrutiny of serious research. However, previous research studies have suggested that regular coffee consumption may reduce inflammation in the body, and increase HDL levels (HDL is also known as “the good cholesterol”). A newly published clinical research study, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has evaluated these claims, and the results of this research study will be of considerable interest to coffee lovers everywhere.

In this study, 47 volunteers who regularly consumed coffee were evaluated. During the first month of this study, these research volunteers refrained from drinking coffee. During the second month of this study, each volunteer consumed 4 cups of filtered coffee per day (each cup contained 150 ml of coffee). Finally, during the third month of this study, each volunteer consumed a nerve-jangling 8 cups of filtered coffee per day! Blood samples were collected throughout this research study, and were tested for total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”), and caffeine, as well as for several markers of inflammation.

In this study, the regular daily consumption of 8 cups of coffee per day was found to significantly reduce the blood levels of several proteins associated with chronic inflammation (by as much as 16 percent, when compared to no coffee consumption). Moreover, HDL cholesterol levels increased by 7 percent during the final phase of this study (when compared to the “no coffee” first phase), when the research volunteers were consuming 8 cups of coffee per day (and the ratio between LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol decreased by 8 percent during the final phase of this study). At the same time, although previous research has suggested that coffee consumption may improve glucose control in diabetics, there was no evidence of improved glucose metabolism or blood-glucose levels with increasing coffee intake in this particular study.

Therefore, this intriguing little prospective clinical research study revealed that drinking 8 cups of coffee per day appeared to decrease the level of inflammation-associated proteins in the body, while also increasing levels of heart-healthy HDL cholesterol in the blood. However, this small and brief study cannot answer the very important question of whether or not these observed biochemical changes in the blood will actually translate into improved health. Nonetheless, this study’s finding that HDL cholesterol levels increase with regular daily coffee intake may indeed be good news for folks with mildly-to-moderately decreased HDL levels. Longer term prospective clinical studies will be necessary, however, to quantify the actual health benefit, if any, of regular coffee consumption.

 

To learn more about the critical role of diet as part of a cancer prevention lifestyle, look for the publication of my new landmark evidence-based book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the summer of this year.






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



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the nearly 120,000 new and returning readers who visited our premier global health information website last month. As always, we 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.



In view of the extreme devastation and human misery brought about in Haiti and Chile by the recent earthquakes, Weekly Health Update asks our tens of thousands of caring readers to give generously to established charities that are currently working in those countries to assist the injured, the ill, and the homeless.  There are many such legitimate charities, including the following two:


http://www.imcworldwide.org/haiti

http://www.redcross.org/




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