According to a recent report we are a bit closer to prostate cancer prevention. This is implied by an exhaustive ten year study involving thousands of men, which concluded that heavy coffee drinkers are 60 percent less likely to get prostate cancer.
Rather than ask men to vaguely recall how much coffee they drank over the years, the scientists tracked their subjects' coffee-drinking habits as the years rolled by. Engaging 50,000 men in a prospective, rather than retrospective assessment makes this the first study of its kind. (For details see http://www.renalandurologynews.com/coffee-may-lower-risk-of-aggressive-prostate-cancer/article/159208/.
On the surface this new report might motivate a lot of men to start drinking coffee more frequently. However, I wouldn't be among them. Even if I had not already had my prostate removed through robotic surgery, the fact is that I rarely drink coffee, whether it's high-test or not! Of course there are plenty of folks who can't get going with at least one cup of java a day, so I might be an exception to a rule.
Unlike second-hand reports by other bloggers, the original report makes it clear that despite the findings none of us should feel compelled to drink a lot more coffee. In fact the lead scientists of this study have urged readers NOT to increase their coffee-drinking habits. I agree for two reasons: First, this can be a costly practice- especially for Starbucks lovers. Second, it can do you in for other reasons, as explained below. If you want to see what I'm getting at, I hope you take a moment to read a letter I recently wrote to another prostate cancer blogger, who left out some salient details.
Your summary of the new report that drinking coffee can substantially reduce the risk of getting prostate cancer is informative, but you left out one important detail stated in the original study: It's only if you drink 7 cups of coffee PER DAY (regular or decaf) that you can reduce the prospects of getting prostate cancer.
I don't know about you, but if I drank that many cups of coffee a day my bladder would be madder, not gladder! In my book Conquer Prostate Cancer: How Medicine, Faith, Love and Sex Can Renew Your Life I refer to the view of many that a heart-healthy diet can help reduce the risk of getting prostate cancer, though not everyone concurs. Still, I'd rather go the route of fruit than risk suffering from major indigestion, wouldn't you?
I don't deny that coffee may help a man's prostrate, but I have a strong inkling it is probably tough on both his bladder and stomach. If you drank 7 cups of coffee a day you'd be running to the bathroom so often that you'll wouldn't have time to worry about your prostate!
So what's a man to do?: Unless you're already an inveterate coffee drinker who imbibes the stuff multiple times a day, it's probably best to wait until scientists figure out which component in coffee helps most in lowering the risk of getting prostate cancer. Then you can take that element (either a mineral or anti-oxidant) in isolation and ingest as directed without unwanted repercussions!
My point-of-view here is not any different than my response to news within the last two years that drinking lots of wine or grape juice can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Think about it: How can excessive drinking improve your health!?!
Besides it's not wine or grape juice that help make the difference. As we now know. it's the resveratrol found in these beverages that counts. And here's the rub: to get the health benefits of resveratrol you'd have to drink hundreds of bottles of wine a day! (See http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089)
The lesson here is to make sure your concerns about prostate cancer or other illnesses don't drive you to drink. Beware of excessive coffee or wine, not to mention even stronger beverages!