Drinking coffee may lower the risk of developing the deadliest form of prostate cancer, according to a Harvard Medical School study.
In research involving 50,000 men over 20 years, scientists led by Kathryn Wilson at Harvard’s Channing Laboratory found that the 5 percent of men who drank 6 or more cups a day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the advanced form of the disease than those who didn’t consume any.
The risk was about 20 percent lower for the men who drank 1 to 3 cups a day, and 25 percent lower for those consuming 4 or 5 cups.
The study is the first to associate coffee with prostate cancer, contradicting previous research that’s found no link. The difference may be because Wilson and colleagues looked for the first time at the link between coffee and different stages of the disease, instead of grouping them all together. More research is needed to confirm the findings, she said, according to Bloomberg.
The researchers said in a statement that they were not sure which component in coffee offered the potential protective benefits, but they said caffeine was not the key factor. Coffee contains many antioxidants and minerals, they said.
Lead researcher Kathryn Wilson said in a statement that this was the first study to investigate coffee intake and specific prostate cancer outcomes, AHN reports.
"Coffee has effects on insulin and glucose metabolism, as well as sex hormone levels, all of which play a role in prostate cancer," said Kathryn M. Wilson, of Harvard.
She said her study was the first to look at coffee and different types of cancer, WTOV9.com informs.