In a recent study released by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, drinking 5-6 cups of coffee a day (roughly my daily regimen) can significantly reduce the occurence of high-risk prostate cancer in men. Although coffee consumption had little correlation to instances of low-risk cancers, including prostate, it spiked significantly with instances of high-risk or lethal prostate cancers. What's even better is that the benefits seem to be linked to the non-caffeine components of coffee because the results were almost identical for decaffeinated coffee consumption.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men in the U.S., and the fifth leading cause of death for men overall. According to MedTV.com, 2 million men in this country have a history with prostate cancer, particularly those over 55, and roughly 23,000 die per year of it. There are very few preventative avenues open for men that are specific to this cancer, other than the common nutritional and exercise advice we get from all physicians regarding all physical ailments. This breakthrough may allow scientists to target the specific coffee components and derive medicines form them.
What are the implications of 125 million American men suddenly guzzling 6 cups of coffee everyday? Massive increases in work productivity? Probably not, and if they were smart they would only do the recommended ONE cup of caffeinated coffee and switch to decaf for the rest of their prostate-health coffee intake. However, the non-caffeine antioxidants and other elements in coffee have been linked to everything from lowering one's chances for heart disease to increasing one's base sex drive.
So, along with your two glasses of red wine for heart health, your pack of cards-sized dollop of protein for digestion, your oatmeal, yogurt, wheat grass, and eggs (wait, are those bad again?) managing means by scientific study could be an exhaustive process. I take this most recent study with a grain of salt (and a cup of coffee). Afterall, evidence is just evidence, but if it justifies my otherwise excessive intake of coffee each morning, I'll take it. Now if they could just find scientific evidence that 5-6 beers a night staves off Alzheimers...
Photo from sustainablog.org