Meta-studies link higher coffee intake with lower prostate cancer risk
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In the United States alone, more than half of people drink at least one cup of coffee a day. Therefore, it is not surprising that scientists have focused considerable attention on the health effects of this popular drink. The number of studies on the health effects of coffee is unimaginable. Research can show that coffee helps fight obesity, has anti-aging qualities, protects Parkinson’s disease, and contributes to general heart health. Other studies can show that coffee is potentially carcinogenic, leading to a “legal war” in California in 2018. The focus of the debate is whether a cup of coffee should have a cancer warning label.
The relationship between coffee and cancer is closely studied. Although general observational studies have shown that coffee drinking may confer beneficial health effects, one of the larger, more recent meta-studies shows that coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers face no significant difference in cancer risk .
Especially, studies suggest that the lower incidence of prostate cancer is related to higher coffee consumption. However, the data proved to be inconsistent, so this study began a new meta-analysis consisting of newly published studies. A collection of 16 prospective cohort studies for analysis, including more than 1 million subjects and 57,000 cases of prostate cancer patients.
Researchers have found that coffee consumption has increased There is a clear linear trend with the reduction of prostate cancer risk. “In a dose-response analysis, it was observed that every additional cup of coffee per day reduces the risk of prostate cancer by nearly 1%,” the researchers wrote.
If there is no causal hypothesis, this observational association does not make much sense. In the specific case of prostate cancer, there are many potential mechanisms that can explain how coffee reduces the risk of prostate cancer. “Coffee can improve glucose metabolism, reduce plasma insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and affect the level of sex hormones, which may play a role in the initiation, development and progression of prostate cancer.” The researchers hypothesized in the research.
A striking study in 2019 magnified the effects of two special anticancer compounds found in coffee on prostate cancer. In mouse models of prostate cancer, kahweol acetate and coffee alcohol seem to work synergistically to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Of course, this type of large meta-analysis cannot provide clear answers. The researchers admitted that their conclusions should be “explained with caution” because of the significant heterogeneity of the studies analyzed. No one recommends that men increase the amount of coffee they drink to protect themselves from prostate cancer.
This new research was published in the “BMJ Open” journal.