Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health looked at data collected from 47,911 American men who had participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up study. This was a study that looked at variety of health issues for males. As part of the study, the men reported their coffee consumption every four years between 1986 and 2008.
During that period, 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported, 642 of them fatal. Researchers concluded that men who drank at least six cups a day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer, and men who drank one to three cups lowered their risk by 30 percent.
Coffee only produced a slightly lower risk for all prostate cancer, but lowered the risk substantially for lethal prostate cancer.
According to the study caffeine does not seem to be the factor, as the risk reduction was similar between decaf and regular coffee drinkers.
“An association between coffee and lower risk of advanced prostate cancer is biologically plausible,” the report stated. “Coffee improves glucose metabolism, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and affects sex hormone levels, all of which play roles in prostate cancer progression.” The study also suggested that coffee’s positive influence on insulin levels could have something to do with the link.
This is not the only study that has shown the positive health benefits of java. Coffee has also been linked to a lower risk of liver cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
There have also been other studies that have searched for a link between coffee consumption and prostate cancer, but they have been on a much smaller scale and have produced mixed results.
The results of this study were published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on Tuesday.