Coffee Prepared the Italian Way May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk by Half

In a comprehensive analysis of nearly 7000 Italian men aged 50 years or older, researchers found that those men who drank three or more cups of Italian-style coffee a day were 53% less like to get prostate cancer. Other studies have noted this correlation, but there have also been contradictory studies. The multi-year study sought to end this ambiguity. The findings by the Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology Laboratory at I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed in Italy were published in the International Journal of Cancer in April of 2017.

The study relied on the food frequency questionnaire developed by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition [EPIC] project. The questionnaire makes self-reported food and drink intake information more reliable. It was created to make comparative data between the many studies of the multi-country project more consistent and reproducible.

The study also tested the response of cancer cells to caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee extracts. The caffeinated extracts reduced the cancer cell’s ability to divide and grow and decreased their ability to spread. The decaffeinated extracts did not show these effects.

How the coffee is prepared may affect its ability to fight prostate cancer. Traditional Italian coffee is produced espresso style. The beans are subjected to very high water temperatures and high pressure. No filters are used in the process. Caffeine seems to be the ingredient responsible for the beneficial effects the researchers observed. However, Italy’s method of preparation might lead to higher concentrations of bioactive substances.

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