We love a cup of coffee. According to studies, when we drink coffee and eat healthily, it can help increase our metabolism in order to aid in weight loss, provide a big lift of caffeine energy to get us to go harder in our workouts, and may even help prevent degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. We like coffee so much, one of our writers struggled to go a week without it.
A new study has highlighted another benefit of coffee, in that it can potentially reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. The study, published by researchers writing in the British Medical Journal (opens in new tab), sought to examine why, when coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of other cancers, there was no evidence for its potential role in the fight against prostate cancer too.
The researchers examined studies carried out in America, Europe and Japan, examining data from over one million men in total. Compared with the lowest levels of coffee drinkers, the highest coffee consumers were linked with a 9% prostate cancer risk. Each additional daily cup was associated with a reduction in risk of 1%, although the scientists were unable to understand why.
The researchers write: "This study suggests that increased coffee consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Further research is still warranted to explore the underlying mechanisms and active compounds in coffee.
"If the association is further proved to be a causal effect, men might be encouraged to increase their coffee consumption to potentially decrease the risk of prostate cancer."
Other prostate cancer risks include processed red meat such as sausages, bacon and burgers. Although cuts of red meat such as steak contain lots of benefits, including lots of protein, iron, and beneficial fatty acids like omega-3 (which you can also find in our best fish oil supplements list), eating 50g of processed meat a day is likely to actually increase your risk of cancer.
As well as upping the coffee, consider cutting back on the bacon – try our best vegan cookbooks for a few pieces of recipe inspiration – and decreasing your consumption of alcohol. Men who drank seven drinks a week (the UK’s recommended limit, assuming each drink is two units) until the age of 49 were found to have three times the risk (opens in new tab) of developing prostate cancer than non-drinkers.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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