APR 28, 2017 3:21 PM PDT

Italian-Style Coffee Could Slash Prostate Cancer Risks

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Men who enjoy daily coffee may want to switch to the Italian-style of consuming the caffeine if they want to lower their risks of prostate cancer, suggest a new study.

Image credit: pixabay.com

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks. Its popularity has made it a target for many health investigations, some claiming the caffeine in the beverage can increase cancer, while other studies claim health benefits. But recently, in a large review of all nearly 1000 studies, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is convened by the World Health Organization, concluded that there is no strong evidence that coffee increases cancer risks.

If coffee is unlikely to up your cancer risks, can it do the opposite and reduce your cancer risks? There’s no better place to seek the answer to this question than in Italy, where the coffee culture is so pervasive.

Italians love their coffee. Most drink it with every meal - a cappuccino at breakfast, a cafe macchiato at lunch, and an espresso to round off dinner. While Italy isn’t the number one coffee-consuming country (that would be Finland), Italians aren’t the least shy with coffee, with the average person consuming around 600 cups of coffee per year.

Researchers at the Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology Laboratory at I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed in Italy decided to investigate the association between Italian-style coffee and prostate cancer incidence in Italian men. The study included data from nearly 7,000 men who were at least 50 years old. The men recorded their daily coffee intake, and were followed for an average of 4 years.

The team found that men who drank at least three cups of Italian-style coffee daily had a 53 percent decrease in prostate cancer risks, versus men who drank less coffee. The team also showed that extracts of caffeinated Italian-style coffee had anticancer effects on cancer cells in the lab. Specifically, they observed a reduction in the proliferation and metastasis of the cancer cells with exposure to caffeinated extracts versus decaffeinated extracts.

"The observations on cancer cells allow us to say that the beneficial effect observed among the 7,000 participants is most likely due to caffeine, rather than to the many other substances contained in coffee," notes study co-author Maria Benedetta Donati, also of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention.

But is it the amount of caffeine that produced the anticancer effects, or the Italian-style of coffee preparation? The authors don’t fully address this, but they note that Italian-style coffee is markedly different in the way that it’s made. "They prepare coffee [the] rigorously Italian way: high pressure, very high water temperature, and with no filters," said Licia Iacoviello, the study’s co-author. "This method, different from those followed in other areas of the world, could lead to a higher concentration of bioactive substances.It will be very interesting, now, to explore this aspect. Coffee is an integral part of Italian lifestyle, which, we must remember, is not made just by individual foods, but also by the specific way they are prepared."

Taken at face value, the results of this study seem to give men ample permission to indulge in another cup of coffee. Just make sure it’s Italian-style, and that it’s not piping hot!

Additional source: MNT

About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
DEC 07, 2020
Cancer
Black women with breast cancer have higher rates of mortality and comorbidities
DEC 07, 2020
Black women with breast cancer have higher rates of mortality and comorbidities
New research published today the American Cancer Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Cancer, looks at the mortality r ...
JAN 11, 2021
Cancer
Sentinel Nodes Could Reveal a Tumor's Prognosis
JAN 11, 2021
Sentinel Nodes Could Reveal a Tumor's Prognosis
For many diseases, the ability to quickly and effectively diagnose or prognose a patient is critical. If caught early on ...
JAN 30, 2021
Cancer
Farming natural killer exosomes to fight cancer
JAN 30, 2021
Farming natural killer exosomes to fight cancer
New research published in Advanced Science from scientists at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and U- ...
MAR 02, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Koala Retrovirus Can Rewrite the Genome & Trigger Cancer
MAR 02, 2021
Koala Retrovirus Can Rewrite the Genome & Trigger Cancer
Retroviruses can infect cells and insert themselves into the genetic code of their host. Sometime in the past 50,000 yea ...
MAR 03, 2021
Cancer
Multiple breast cancer screenings reduce mortality rates
MAR 03, 2021
Multiple breast cancer screenings reduce mortality rates
New research published in the journal Radiology reports on the advantages that multiple breast cancer screenings can hav ...
MAR 04, 2021
Cancer
Slow walking pace: cause for alarm in cancer survivors
MAR 04, 2021
Slow walking pace: cause for alarm in cancer survivors
New research published today in the American Association for Cancer Research journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarke ...
Loading Comments...