Your daily cup of coffee might offer more benefits than an instant burst of energy. Many studies have shown that drinking coffee may lower a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, delay the progression of the disease, and keep prostate cancer from coming back. While research doesn’t prove that drinking coffee will prevent prostate cancer altogether, the most recent report finds that higher coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of developing advanced prostate cancer.
The 2021 study states, “Coffee improves glucose metabolism, decreases concentrations of plasma insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and affects sex hormone levels, all of which may play roles in the initiation, development, and progression of prostate cancer.”
How drinking coffee can reduce your risk of prostate cancer
Coffee is rich in active ingredients, antioxidants, and compounds that can help prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation. In regards to prostate cancer, scientists have identified two cancer-fighting elements that can slow down cell growth: kahweol acetate and cafestol.
Kahweol acetate is a diterpene (a type of hydrocarbon) that has anti-inflammatory properties and antiangiogenic bioactive compounds. In a pharmaceutical setting, antiangiogenic drugs are used to prevent tumors from growing their own blood vessels, which can help slow the growth of cancer. Cafestol is a compound found in coffee that has similar anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic compounds as kahweol acetate.
The amounts of these two ingredients are highest in unfiltered coffee drinks such as a French press, as filters trap kahweol acetate and cafestol. Interestingly, it doesn’t matter if you drink caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee – the results of reducing your risk of prostate cancer are the same.
The connection between higher coffee consumption and prostate cancer
A scientific analysis of past studies reveals positive findings linking higher coffee consumption to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. The data looks at 16 studies, 57,732 prostate cancer cases, and more than 1 million total study members. Compared to men who consumed zero to less than two cups of coffee each day, the study found a:
- 1% decrease in the risk of prostate cancer with each additional cup of coffee.
- 9% reduced risk of prostate cancer in men who consumed two to nine cups of coffee each day.
- 7% decrease in localized prostate cancer in men who consumed two to nine cups of coffee each day.
- 12% decrease in advanced prostate cancer in men who consumed two to nine cups of coffee each day.
- 16% decrease in fatal prostate cancer in men who consumed two to nine cups of coffee each day.
The study also supports evidence that men who are already diagnosed with prostate cancer have a significantly reduced risk of disease progression and recurrence.
Although the findings are promising, more research is needed to verify the role of coffee in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. Specifically, scientists need to investigate the non-prostate cancer-related health effects of high coffee consumption before we can truly recommend increasing coffee consumption as a preventative measure for prostate cancer.
When it comes to your prostate health, it’s always best to speak to your doctor about your risks and any symptoms you may be experiencing.