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Coffee "cuts prostate cancer risk"

A major US study suggests that men may have a lower chance of developing aggressive prostate cancer if they drink coffee.

During the research, which spanned two decades and studied almost 50,000 men, scientists found that 4,975 developed cancer and those who drank the most coffee had a 60% lower risk than those who drank none at all.

Aggressive prostate cancers are far more likely to become lethal than milder forms of the disease.

Dr Kathryn Wilson, the study leader from America's Harvard Medical School, said: "Coffee has effects on insulin and glucose metabolism as well as sex hormone levels, all of which play a role in prostate cancer. It was plausible that there may be an association between coffee and prostate cancer.

"Very few lifestyle factors have been consistently associated with prostate cancer risk, especially with risk of aggressive disease, so it would be very exciting if this association is confirmed in other studies. Our results suggest there is no reason to stop drinking coffee out of any concern about prostate cancer."

The findings, presented at an American Association for Cancer Research, could have stemmed from coffee components other than caffeine such as biologically active compounds including antioxidants and minerals, the scientists said.

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American Association for Cancer Research