May 23rd, 2017
A recent study suggests that drinking 3 or more cups of Italian style coffee every day can reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men.
The inference was drawn from the data derived from 7,000 Italian men as drinking coffee is prominent Italian culture. In Italy, people often begin their day with cappuccino and have caffe macchiato at lunch followed by an espresso in the evening. It is speculated that an average Italian consumes approximately 600 cups of coffee per year.
The study was conducted by the co-author and the head of Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology Laboratory at I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Italy, Licia Iacoviello and colleagues. The results were published in the International Journal of Cancer.
Next to skin cancer, the incidence of prostate cancer is second highest in the USA. According to latest estimates, 1 in 7 men are diagnosed with this serious malignancy at some part of their life. Some studies have suggested that the risk of prostate cancer may be reduced by the consumption of Italian styled coffee.
Iacoviello and team investigated and tried to get to the bottom of this theory to understand how coffee can reduce the incidence of prostate cancer. They selected 6,989 Italian men who were 50 or above and were associated to Moli-Sani Project. The study involved the subjects to report their daily Italian style coffee consumption by means of a questionnaire based on food frequency.
The follow-up lasted for around 4 years and almost 100 new cases were reported of prostate cancer in the participating men. It was found that men who drank 3 cups on the daily basis had 53% lower chance of developing prostate cancer in contrast to the men who drank less than 3 cups every day.
In order to investigate the anti-cancer effect of coffee, the researchers took into consideration the extracts taken from decaffeinated and caffeinated Italian style coffee and tested them against the prostate cancerous cells within the laboratory. The results showed that the proliferation; growing and dividing ability, of the cancerous cells is significantly decreased with the use of extracts acquired from caffeinated coffee. Not only this, the caffeinated extracts of Italian style coffee also reduced the rate of metastasis. These effects however were nearly non-existent in the decaffeinated extracts.
This suggested that the beneficial effects of Italian style coffee observed in the 7000 experimented men were majorly because of the caffeine rather than any other substances present in the coffee. The research team also noted that since the Italians have their own culture of coffee and own way of preparation, which may limit the findings of their study to only that geographic region. Italian style coffee is prepared by using high pressure, no filters and with water of significantly high temperature. The Italian method of preparing coffee may lead to a notably high proportion of bioactive substances. Since this is not how it is prepared all around the world, therefore the aspect needs more evaluation.
Nonetheless Italian style coffee showed promising results in reducing the risk of prostate cancer to nearly half.
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