Thursday, May 26, 2011
Damn Good Coffee!
I swear I’m not on any coffee company’s graft list. But my role of media watchdog on health makes its benefits virtually impossible to ignore its benefits, which seem to grow exponentially each year. Last week the BBC reported on a study conducted on nearly 50,000 men over a 20-year period that concluded those who drank coffee were 60% less likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Why yes, I’d love another cup!
From the BBC:
Those who drank six or more cups a day were found to be 20% less likely to develop any form of the disease - which is the most common cancer in men.
They were also 60% less likely to develop an aggressive form which can spread to other parts of the body.
But charities say the evidence, reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is still unclear.
They do not recommend that men take up coffee drinking in the hope of preventing prostate cancer.
I’d like to take the second part first, please.
Excuse me, but why the heck not?!! If I’m a non-coffee un-achiever and see this I’m hightailing it down to my local java joint pronto. While I completely sympathize with a cautionary approach to scientific data this one’s practically a slam dunk, since jillions of studies (okay, thousands), conclude there’s very little scientific downside to coffee consumption, most of which is tied to caffeine and lack of sleep. However, the study indicated no difference between regular and decaf drinkers showing, once again, that there’s a lot more benefit to our morning black gold than it’s hyped up headline catcher, caffeine. If the protagonist here happened to be, say, apples I’ll bet they’d be singing a different tune.
A number of other studies looking at coffee and prostate cancer have found that drinking coffee does not affect the risk of the disease, and this study only found a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer in men who drank more than six cups a day.
Admittedly that’s a lot of coffee but, man, without a ton of downside and prostate cancer rates among aging males around 30% I’d say those are some dice I’d like to roll, especially if I were getting on in years and know that I don’t have to OD on caffeine.
Yinka Ebo, senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "There's no need for men to start drinking gallons of coffee in an attempt to lower their prostate cancer risk.”
I agree. Just six cups or so.