The study of nearly 50,000 American men found that those who consumed six or more cups of coffee a day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing deadly metastatic prostate cancer and a 20 percent reduced risk of developing any form of the disease. One to three cups cut the risk of lethal prostate cancer by 30 percent.
Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in U.S. men and affects one in six men during their lifetime. Researchers from Harvard’s School of Public Health chose to study coffee because research has shown it’s a source of antioxidants, which they had speculated were useful in reducing prostate cancer risk. Caffeine is the strongest antioxidant found in coffee.
To reach their conclusions, Harvard researchers looked at the incidence of prostate cancer in a group of almost 48,000 American men who reported their coffee consumption every four years from 1986 to 2008.
Dr. Kathryn Wilson, lead author of the study and a research fellow in epidemiology at Harvard, concluded, “If our findings are validated, coffee could represent one modifiable factor that may lower the risk of developing the most harmful form of prostate cancer.”