Coffee consumption and the risk of prostate cancer
While coffee used to be labeled unhealthy, more and more studies show that regular coffee consumption can bring health benefits. A Chinese research team has now evaluated data from over a million people and came to the conclusion that drinking coffee is associated with a significantly lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Researchers from Shengjing Hospital at China Medical University analyzed the data from 16 cohort studies with a total of 1,081,586 participants. Among the subjects, 57,732 developed prostate cancer during the study periods. The aim of the working group was to produce a systematic review of cohort studies to assess the relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of prostate cancer. The results were recently published in the renowned specialist journal “BMJ” presented.
Prostate Cancer – An Increasing Public Health Problem
According to the study team, prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide. Prostate cancer is also the sixth most common cause of premature death among men. In 2018 alone, around 1,276,000 new prostate cancer cases and 359,000 deaths from this cancer were registered worldwide. People in industrialized countries are particularly affected – almost three quarters of all cases come from countries with higher incomes.
Since the 1970s, the incidence of prostate cancer has also increased sharply in some Asian countries such as China, Singapore and Japan. Before that, prostate cancer cases occurred significantly less often in these countries than in Western countries. The study team emphasizes that prostate cancer has become a major public health problem and that appropriate preventive measures are of great importance.
Coffee – popular and healthy
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks around and its popularity continues to grow. According to the researchers, the hot drink is an important source of caffeine, cafestol, antioxidants, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid. There is evidence that these ingredients develop in different ways Krebs can inhibit. The researchers emphasize that even small effects could have a significant impact on public health.
No consistent statement in previous studies
In previous studies, a reduced risk of prostate cancer was predominantly observed with regular coffee consumption. However, there were also some studies that did not show this connection. The working group therefore summarized all available data from reliable cohorts and reassessed the relationship.
Every cup of coffee a day reduced the risk of cancer by one percent
The analysis showed that most prostate cancer cases occurred in the group that drank the least coffee. There was also a linear trend between the number of cups of coffee drunk per day and the risk of prostate cancer. With every additional cup of coffee every day, the relative risk fell by around one percent (up to a maximum of nine percent). Based on the data, the researchers come to the conclusion that higher coffee consumption may be associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.
However, the working group also points out that only one relationship was observed in the present study. The underlying process is still unknown. However, the scientists make biologically plausible assumptions as to why coffee seems to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Possible reasons for the anti-cancer effect
On the one hand, coffee improves glucose metabolism and lowers the concentrations of insulin and the insulin-like growth factor-1. On the other hand, coffee has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients. In addition, coffee consumption influences the level of the sex hormones globulin and testosterone. According to the researchers, all of these aspects could play a role in the development and progression of prostate cancer.
In addition, antioxidants ingested through coffee appear to protect cells from damage from oxidative stress and inflammation. Such inflammations are suspected to initiate cancerous transformations in the prostate. Whether coffee actually protects against prostate cancer and, if so, what the exact causes are, has yet to be explored in further studies. (vb)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
Diploma-Editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- Xiaonan Chen, Yiqiao Zhao, Zijia Tao: Coffee consumption and risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis; in: BMJ, 2021, bmjopen.bmj.com
- BMJ-Pressemitteilung: Higher coffee intake may be linked to lower prostate cancer risk (veröffentlicht: 11.01.2021), eurekalert.org
- Deutsches Ärzteblatt: Meta-analysis: Coffee could protect against prostate cancer (published: 01/13/2021), aerzteblatt.de
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.