A new study published in the International Journal of Cancer reported that consuming over three cups of Italian-style coffee daily was shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by >50%.

There have been controversial findings on meta-analytic data regarding coffee and prostate cancer risk. Italian-style coffee, which is prepared under high pressure and very high water temperature without filters, may result in higher levels of bioactive substances. Researchers from the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention – I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Italy, aimed to evaluate the influence of Italian-style coffee consumption on prostate cancer risk and to evaluate in vitro the potential antitumor activity of caffeine on prostate cancer cell lines.

Nearly 7,000 Italian men participating in the Moli-sani epidemiological study aged ≥50 years were monitored for an average of 4.25 years. Of the total men, 100 new cases of prostate cancer were identified.

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Food Frequency Questionnaire was administered to assess dietary intake and Italian-style coffee consumption. Researchers also tested two human prostate cancer cell lines, PC-3 and DU145, with different concentrations of caffeine and evaluated their proliferative/metastatic features. 

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The data showed patients who were newly diagnosed with prostate cancer had lower coffee consumption (60.1±51.3g/day) vs. the cancer-free patients (74.0±51.7g/day) (P<0.05). Patients who had the highest coffee consumption (>3 cups/day) had a 53% reduced risk of prostate cancer vs. patients who had the lowest consumption (0–2 cups/day) (P=0.02).

The PC-3 and DU145 cancer cell lines also exhibited a significant reduction in their proliferative and metastatic features (P<0.05). 

“In conclusion, reduction by Italian-style coffee consumption of prostate cancer risk (>3 cups/day) was observed in epidemiological level,” concluded lead author George Pounis. In addition, caffeine appeared to have antiproliferative and antimetastatic characteristics, “thus providing a cellular confirmation for the cohort study results.”

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