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Heavy coffee drinking wards off deadly cancer in men

Drop that tea and grab some java, man, for pity's sake

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Splendid news today for many Reg readers and journalists: a new study indicates that heavy coffee drinking staves off deadly prostate cancer in men.

Some 47,911 US men were surveyed over the period 1986 to 2008 for the research. During this time some 5,035 of them developed prostate cancer with 642 dying of it.

According to analysis by investigating scientists, men who drank the most coffee (a fairly normal six-plus cups per day) had a 20 per cent lower risk of developing any kind of prostate cancer. If they did get prostate cancer, the java-swillers were much less likely to die from it than others: their risk of deadly prostate cancer was no less than 60 per cent lower than normal.

Even less thirsty coffee drinkers who only put away one to three cups daily saw their chance of deadly prostate cancer fall by a useful 30 per cent.

Apparently the prostate protection effect is nothing to do with caffeine; drinkers of decaf received the same statistical benefit, leading the researchers to theorise that some other constituent of coffee is at work.

"If our findings are validated, coffee could represent one modifiable factor that may lower the risk of developing the most harmful form of prostate cancer,” says Kathryn Wilson of the Harvard School of Public Health, leading the researchers.

As coffee also appears to protect the liver from the harmful effects of booze and wards off skin cancer to boot, the take-home message is clear: put down that nasty tea and glug down as much of the delicious, lifesaving, intellect-enhancing beany brew as you can get your hands on.

The research is published online by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. ®

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