If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer, drinking four or more cups of coffee a day could slow its progression-and even stop it recurring if you’ve already had treatment.
Men who drink that amount every day reduce the chances of their prostate cancer growing, or recurring, by 59 per cent, compared to men who drink one cup or less a day.
Tea doesn’t seem to have the same beneficial effects, although almost none of the participants in the latest research ever drank more than one cup a day, say researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, who surveyed the lifestyle and diet of 1,001 prostate cancer survivors.
Analysing the ingredients of coffee, the researchers reckon it’s a combination of caffeine, which inhibits cell growth and encourages apoptosis (programmed cell death) and chlorogenic acid, which slows the progress of many cancers.
The researchers sounded one note of caution: drinking that amount of coffee isn’t for everyone. Men with high blood pressure or raised cholesterol levels could endanger their heart health. And coffee doesn’t seem to be a life-saver, either; although it slows the cancer’s progress, men who were drinking their four cups every day were as likely to die from their cancer as men who drank less.
(Source: Cancer Causes & Control, 2013; doi: 10.1007/s10552-013-0270-5).