Study Shows the More Coffee You Drink the Lower Your Prostate Cancer Risk
Even if only for the smell, there are so many reasons to love coffee. The latest? It appears to lower your risk of prostate cancer. A new study suggests that sipping coffee–and the more, the better–could kick your risk of ever getting prostate cancer to the curb, but the cancer-fighting benefits don’t stop there.
It’s no secret that Americans have a love affair with coffee. The average individual drinks slightly over three cups a day, while seven in ten Americans drink it weekly, according to a report from the National Coffee Association.
While coffee has a wide-ranging list of health benefits, including increasing longevity and lowering the risk of diabetes, stroke in women, and depression, reducing cancer risk may be another. Studies have found that coffee can reduce the risk of liver cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, and colon cancer.
“Although the evidence is not definitive, some studies suggest that coffee drinking may lower the risk of certain cancers, including liver and endometrial cancer,” says Marji McCullough, Sc.D., R.D., senior scientific director of epidemiology research for the American Cancer Society (ACS).
Now enter prostate cancer. In a new study from the British Medical Journal, researchers reviewed 16 studies and concluded that “higher coffee consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.” Those in the highest coffee group were drinking two to nine cups a day while those in the lowest level drank anywhere from zero to less than two cups a day. With each cup of coffee men drank, the risk was reduced by almost one percent.
It’s certainly promising news. But McCullough says caution is urged. “It would be important to rule out potential sources of bias,” she says. For instance, men with prostate symptoms may avoid drinking coffee.
Other Preventative Strategies to Keep Cancer Risk Low
So does this mean you should drink coffee just to lower your cancer risk? Not necessarily. “I don’t think the evidence is strong enough to recommend that people start consuming coffee to lower cancer risk,” McCullough says. “However, if you are a coffee drinker, you can enjoy the fact that it may lower your cancer risk.”
And as a reminder, there are numerous other preventive strategies to lower your cancer risk, most of which have even stronger evidence than coffee drinking to support doing them. According to the ACS, the three most important variables if you don’t smoke are body weight, diet, and physical activity, which is why it recommends maintaining a healthy weight, being active throughout life, and eating a healthy diet, which includes adding more fruits and vegetables and eating less red and processed meat, sugary beverages, highly processed foods, and refined grains products.