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Coffee Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 05/18/11 09:45 AM ET Updated: 07/18/11 06:12 AM ET

Coffee Prostate Cancer

Good news for coffee drinkers -- especially the men.

According to a major study out of the Harvard School of Public Health, the more coffee men drink, the lower their chance of developing prostate cancer.

Researchers found that men who drank six cups of coffee per day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the most lethal form of prostate cancer -- and a 20 percent lower risk of developing any form of the disease.

At a more modest one to three cups of coffee per day, the risk was cut by 30 percent.

So what it is it about this beloved beverage that helps stave off cancer in men? Not the caffeine; the effects were the same whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaf. From MSNBC:

The benefit is likely linked to other compounds in coffee that act as antioxidants, reduce inflammation and regulate insulin … It backs up previous studies that found coffee consumption was associated with lower risk of a wide range of diseases including Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer.

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the study looked at nearly 48,000 men over the course of 12 years.

Starting in 1986, every four years the men reported their intake of various substances including coffee. The researchers took into account other risk factors such as smoking and obesity and adjusted the findings accordingly. As of 2006, 5,035 men had developed prostate cancer, 642 defined as fatal or metastatic.

The study authors note that further research must be done to validate the findings. If confirmed, this would add be a significant addition to the growing list of coffee's potential health benefits.

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