New study shows that cancer is also less likely to spread among patients who regularly drink coffee.
LONDON — From brain health to Parkinson’s disease, there are plenty of health issues scientists believe coffee can help with. Now, a new study finds drinking coffee every day could keep prostate cancer at bay and improve chances of survival.
Researchers from Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University say regular coffee drinkers are around 10 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. One in 41 will die from the disease.
While drinking too much coffee can be bad for your health, previous studies have discovered it can also reduce the risk of liver, bowel, and breast cancer. Until now, there has not been enough evidence to suggest it could benefit prostate cancer patients. Study authors believe every cup of coffee consumed could reduce the risk of prostate cancer by one percent.
Worldwide connection to better prostate health
The researchers add that prostate cancer is the world’s second most common cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer death in men. The new report gathered data from 16 relevant studies published before September 2020.
Study authors identified 15 which compared high and low coffee consumption with the risk of prostate cancer. Of these, 13 also measured the risk associated with an additional daily cup of coffee. Combined, the studies reported on more than a million men of whom 57,732 had developed prostate cancer.
Coffee consumption ranged from none or under two cups to nine or more cups each day. The results reveal coffee lovers are nine percent less likely to suffer from prostate cancer. Cancer is also 12 percent less likely to spread if patients are heavy coffee drinkers, according to the report.
For those patients with advanced prostate cancer, researchers say participants were 16 percent less likely to die if they were regular coffee drinkers. The studies examined took place around the world, in North America, Europe, and Japan.
Coffee’s many health benefits may reveal the connection
Dr. Wang’s team notes that this may cause some of the results to be skewed depending on the location. The biggest limitation on the data comes from studies using observational data which relies on participants giving accurate figures on their coffee consumption. The results also don’t take into account the types of coffee or their brewing methods.
That said, researchers point out there is a biological explanation for their findings. Coffee is known to improve blood sugar levels and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It also affects sex hormone levels, all of which could help protect against prostate cancer.
“Further research is still warranted to explore the underlying mechanisms and active compounds in coffee,” Dr. Wang and the team conclude. “If the association is further proved to be a causal effect, men might be encouraged to increase their coffee consumption to potentially decrease the risk of prostate cancer.”
The ACS estimates that over 34,000 men in the United States will die of prostate cancer in 2021. Nearly a quarter-million will be diagnosed with the disease.
The findings appear in the British Medical Journal’s BMJ Open.
SWNS writer Tom Campbell contributed to this report.