Coffee may prolong life for men with prostate cancer, study says

Researchers at the University of Texas, in the United States, published a study indicating that drinking at least two cups of coffee a day can help in the survival of patients with prostate cancer. According to the scientists, there is an association between the CYP1A2 AA genotype, which breaks down caffeine molecules, and prolonging the life of men with the disease. The research was published in the journal European Urology Oncology In August.

Previous work has already shown the relationship of coffee with health benefits, since caffeine has antioxidants responsible for reducing inflammation and is associated with better functioning of intestinal bacteria, increased metabolism and decreased risk of heart disease.

In a statement, urological oncologist and lead author of the study, Justin Gregg, says he was intrigued by research that analyzed different genotypes (the name used to designate the genetic makeup of an individual’s cells) and the speed at which they metabolize caffeine.

“While there is a lot of interest in how diet and certain activities affect cancer risk, there are still no specific recommendations, especially for patients who have already been diagnosed with the disease,” Gregg said.

In the oncologist-led study, a review of seven papers was performed that included data from more than 5,700 prostate cancer patients, including men who had decided not to treat their cancer, patients who were undergoing some type of procedure, and others with metastases. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about the amount of caffeine they ingested, on average, per day and per week.

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The group of researchers compared the levels of coffee consumption in the subjects and classified them into two groups: high intake (those who drank at least two cups of coffee a day) and low intake (those who drank about three cups a week). Higher coffee consumption was observed to be associated with higher prostate cancer-specific survival in men who had the CYP1A2 AA genotype.

According to the lead author of the work, there is a chance in the future that the recommendation to drink coffee will be part of a series of measures adopted to help in the treatment of the disease. He points out that, although the results of the study are optimistic, research on the relationship between genotype and disease is still at an early stage.

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