May 18/Dublin/ -- Men who drink coffee may have a decreased risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, the results of a new study indicate.

According to U.S. researchers, coffee contains many biologically active compounds, including caffeine, that can affect things such as sex hormone levels and insulin levels. It also has “potent antioxidant activity.”

The team suggested that because of these “biological activities,” coffee could be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.

The researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston looked at 47,911 men who drank both regular and decaffeinated coffee. Their coffee intake was analyzed in 1986 and then every four years after that until 2006.

Over 5,000 of the men developed prostate cancer, including 642 who developed lethal cancer. Lethal referred to cases where the cancer spread or resulted in the death of the participant.

The study found that overall, men who drank at least six cups of coffee a day had an almost 20% lower risk of developing cancer of the prostate. However, when it came to lethal prostate cancer, the risk was reduced by 60%.

This risk reduction was found in both drinkers of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.

"We observed a strong inverse association between coffee consumption and risk of lethal prostate cancer. The association appears to be related to non-caffeine components of coffee," the researchers concluded.

Details of these findings are published in the May 17 online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.


From the May 18, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.