Could Coffee Lower Men’s Risk for Prostate Cancer?

The health and beneficial aspects of coffee have been debated for years. There is no doubt that it can be used to relieve mental and physical fatigue in the short-term, and increase mental alertness. It has also been shown to treat low blood pressure, prevent Parkinson’s disease, and type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, there are some negative side effects that are also associated with coffee, such as the anxiety or nervousness drinking ingesting too much caffeine can invite. There is also a small chance of dependency, a need for the caffeine that coffee provides, and the chance of withdrawals otherwise. Drinking large amount of the drink can lead to headaches or irregular heartbeat.

In this article, we explore one of the lesser known benefits of coffee – its beneficial effect upon those at risk for prostate cancer.

Coffee can potentially reduce risk of prostate cancer

A 2021 study into the benefits of coffee found that those who drink at least three cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by over half – 53% to be exact. The study was conducted in Italy and lasted for nearly four years, and used over 7,000 subjects to verify its findings. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated versions were tested, and the beneficial effects were only found in the caffeinated versions, suggesting that it is the caffeine that is providing the prostate benefits.

This recent study runs in contrast to some earlier studies on the effects of coffee and caffeine on the health of the prostate. Specifically, it was stated that too much caffeine can be an irritant to the prostate, specifically those who suffer from BPH, as it can increase urinary frequency leading to the subject experiencing more of the uncomfortable urination symptoms.

Additionally, prior to the 2021 Italian studies, there were a several studies conducted on the connection of coffee to prostate cancer, and in most cases the results were unclear. Most of the studies could not conclusively establish a link between coffee and prostate cancer, even though hundreds of subjects were used.

Is Italian Style Coffee the Key?

A key difference between the study that was conducted most recently in Italy, and all the previous studies that were unable to find a connection between coffee and prostate cancer, is that the most recent study used Italian style coffee. Coffee is consumed constantly in Italy, so they seemed to be an ideal group subject for such a study.

As in any culture, there are different variations or versions of coffee that are available, but Italian-style coffee is typically known in America as an espresso. An espresso is brewed by forcing small amounts of nearly boiling water through pressured ground coffee beans. It is typically thicker than other styles of coffee and has a higher concentration of caffeine, while the serving size in generally considerably smaller than the other styles. The Italian version of the study was really one of the only conclusive studies on the subject that has happened thus far. Most of the other studies, using non-Italian style coffee couldn’t establish a link, positive or negative, between the coffee and the prostate. The conductors of the Italian study stated that their coffee was prepared religiously the Italian way using high pressure, extremely high-water temperature, and no filters. They suggested that if men from other countries began drinking their coffee this way, they too could experience the beneficial effects.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the Italian study just provides more insight into the interaction between coffee and the prostate, but does not end the debate. It is the most conclusive study thus far that shows a connection between drinking coffee and how it could benefit the prostate, but there are still questions lingering from the numerous previous studies that weren’t able to establish any sort of connection. What is it about the Italian style coffee that seems to inspire more and clearer results in subjects? Are there risks to drinking at least three cups of espresso a day? The Italian study seems to be a promising starting point that can be further studied and fine-tuned in an attempt to find a legitimate, less tenuous, and more applicable way of utilizing coffee to battle against prostate cancer.