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For years, researchers have been examining the antioxidant effects of compounds found in coffee, with mostly positive results that have debunked old theories that the beverage is unhealthy.
Now, a team of scientists at Harvard School of Public Health has discovered that regular coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.
"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," said lead author Kathryn Wilson.
The researchers studied the data of nearly 48,000 men in the U.S., tracking their coffee consumption over a 22-year period. At the end of the trial, more than 5,000 of the subjects developed prostate cancer, with 642 fatal or metastatic cases reported.
The team found that the men who drank six or more cups of coffee per day had a 20 percent lower risk of developing the cancer and a 60 percent decreased chance of having a potentially lethal case.
Whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaf did not appear to affect the level of protection, suggesting that the benefits of coffee are not derived from its stimulating effects.