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Coffee slashes risk of the most lethal type of prostate cancer

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: coffee, prostate cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) Imagine this scenario: drug company researchers make an amazing discovery. It's a remarkable therapy that's easy to take, has few serious side effects and reduces the risk of a man developing any kind of prostate cancer. Most importantly, it dramatically lowers the odds a man will ever have the most serious, deadly form of the disease.

Can you fathom the enormous money-making possibilities of such a discovery for Big Pharma? Can anyone even predict how many millions of prescriptions would quickly be written for men who would be willing to pay any price to prevent prostate cancer?

In breaking research news, it turns out that scientists actually have found a substance that appears to prevent prostate cancer, especially the most lethal variety, by a whopping 60 percent. But fortunately for men -- and unfortunately for Big Pharma -- the cancer preventative isn't a drug. It's a natural plant-based drink: plain old coffee.

That's right. The results of a large, new study show that men who regularly drank coffee had a lower risk of developing any prostate cancer, especially the kind most likely to kill. The new research, conducted by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) scientists, was just published in the online edition of the Journal of of the National Cancer Institute.

Of course, if you drink too much caffeinated coffee, you can feel anxious, jittery, have difficulty falling asleep at night and even have heart palpitations. And should you abuse java by gulping down cup after cup of the stuff to keep working or playing when your body needs a rest, you might end up exhausting your adrenal glands, too.

But in moderation, coffee is not only safe for most people but may be beneficial. For example, scientists have found there is something in this ancient and natural drink that may protect against a host of ills, including Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, liver cancer and cirrhosis. As NaturalNews recently reported, research shows drinking coffee may also help protect women from breast cancer.

The Harvard scientists decided to study coffee because it contains natural compounds that are known to act as antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and regulate insulin --- and all of these health benefits are believed to play a role in reducing the risk of prostate cancer.

Earlier research has already provided evidence coffee could play a role in prostate cancer prevention. However, only a few studies have specifically looked at the association between coffee intake and the risk of lethal prostate cancer, the form of the disease that is the most critical to prevent because it spreads to the bones and causes death.

"Our study is the largest to date to examine whether coffee could lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer," said senior author Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH, in a statement to the media.

The research team investigated the association between regularly drinking coffee and the risk of prostate cancer, especially the risk for aggressive, lethal prostate cancer, in 47,911 U.S. men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The research volunteers reported their coffee consumption every four years from 1986 to 2008. During that time, 5,035 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, including 642 fatal or metastatic cases.

The HSPH study concluded that the men who drank the most java (six or more cups each day) had a 20 percent lower risk of developing any form of prostate cancer when compared to non-coffee drinkers. What's more, it didn't appear to matter if the coffee was decaffeinated or regular.

Just drinking one to three cups of coffee daily lowered the risk of the deadly form of disease by 30 percent. And men who drank the most coffee saw their risk of lethal prostate cancer plummet by 60 percent.

The Harvard researchers are currently planning additional studies to understand more about the health benefits of coffee. They want to zero in on the specific mechanisms by which coffee provides such a huge reduction in the risk of the deadliest form of metastatic prostate cancer.

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