Male coffee drinkers at significanlty lower risk of prostate cancer

More good news for coffee drinkers: a follow-up study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers suggests men who regularly drink the beverage are at a significantly lower risk of developing a deadly form of prostate cancer.

Even better news is that the benefit is there for men who drink both regular and decaffeinated coffee.

Coffee contains many beneficial compounds that act as antioxidants, reduce inflammation and regulate insulin. These compounds may influence prostate cancer, the researchers said. Coffee has been linked in previous studies with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, type-2 diabetes, gallstone disease, liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.

The Harvard study found specifically that men who consumed six or more cups a day had almost a 20 percent lower risk of developing any form of prostate cancer. Men in the study who were heavy coffee drinkers had a 60 percent lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.

But even drinking one to three cups a day was associated with a 30 percent lower risk of lethal prostate cancer, the researchers said.

Coffee drinkers are more likely to smoke and less likely to exercise, but even after adjusting for these factors, the beverage was still associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.

A full report on the study is published in the May 17 online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.