As coffee lovers know, there are many ways to prepare a cup of coffee, and in central Italy, the three ingredients–in addition to the coffee beans–are high pressure, high temperature, and no filters. The resulting beverage will not only wake you up, it also apparently has other benefits as well. A new study from Italy found that three cups of coffee daily reduce prostate cancer risk by more than half, or 53 percent, when compared with drinking zero to two cups per day.
Previous research has shown that coffee and caffeine have multiple health benefits, including a reduction in the risk of depression, suicide, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and colorectal cancer, to name a few. A 2016 meta-analysis that included 105 studies, for example, reported that coffee consumption was associated with a reduced risk of various cancers, including colon, endometrial, liver, oral, pharyngeal, prostate, and skin (melanoma).
This latest study involved nearly 7,000 men and lasted four years. Scientists at the Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy, evaluated the coffee drinking habits of the participants and compared the data with the occurrence of prostate cancer.
The researchers found that men who consumed three or more cups of coffee (espresso) daily had a 53 percent reduction in their risk of prostate cancer when compared with men who drink no espresso or up to two cups daily.
To help verify these findings, the scientists also tested coffee extracts, both caffeinated and decaffeinated, on prostate cancer cells in the laboratory. The cells treated with the caffeinated coffee extract demonstrated a significant reduction in their ability to metastasize and proliferate, yet these same effects were nearly nonexistent among the cells treated with decaffeinated coffee extract.
According to Licia Iacoviello, head of the Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology Laboratory and a co-author of the study, suggested that the coffee preparation method used in the area of Italy where the study took place differs from that of other parts of the world. She noted that this difference “could lead to a higher concentration of bioactive substances” [in addition to caffeine] and that “it will be very interesting, now, to explore this aspect.”
Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.
Kekatos M. Three espressos a day cuts prostate cancer risk by 50%, study claims. DailyMail 2017 Apr 26
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Pounis G et al. Reduction by coffee consumption of prostate cancer risk: evidence from the Moli-sani cohort and cellular models. International Journal of Cancer 2017 Apr 24 (Epub ahead of print)
Schmit SL et al. Coffee consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2016 Apr; 25(4): 634-39