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Drinking coffee can reduce prostate cancer risk to 50pc

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Drinking at least three or more cups of coffee daily may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 50 percent, a recent study on 7,000 Italian men has revealed.

A research by the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention — I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Italy, in collaboration with the Italian National Institute of Health and the I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata of Rome, shows that three or more cups a day can lower prostate cancer risk.

The findings were then validated in laboratory studies which suggested that the coffee substance caffeine might have some protective effect against cancer.

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“The observations on cancer cells allow us to say that the beneficial effect observed among the 7,000 participants is most likely due to caffeine, rather than to the many other substances contained in coffee,” said Maria Benedetta Donati from Institute for Research, Hospitalisation and Health Care (I.R.C.C.S.) Neuromed in Pozzilli, Italy.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, sheds light in a field still hotly debated to this day — the role of coffee, and specifically caffeine, in relation to prostate cancer

A protective effect of the popular drink has already been suggested by some recent studies.

“In recent years we have seen a number of international studies on this issue. But scientific evidence has been considered insufficient to draw conclusions. Moreover, in some cases results were contradictory,” first author of the paper George Pounis from I.R.C.C.S., Neuromed said.

“Our goal, therefore, was to increase knowledge in this field and to provide a clearer view,” Pounis said.

“By analysing their coffee consumption habits and comparing them with prostate cancer cases occurred over time, we saw a net reduction of risk, 53 per cent, in those who drank more than three cups a day.”

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Then the researchers tested, in particular, extracts containing caffeine or decaffeinated. Only the first ones significantly reduced cancer cells proliferation — an effect that largely disappeared with decaffeinated extracts.

The researchers believe that the Italian-style of coffee making might also contribute to the protective effect.

“We should keep in mind that the study is conducted on a central Italy population,” Licia Iacoviello from I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed noted.

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Health

Red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase risk of colon cancer

Raghu Kshitiz

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Heavy diet like red meats, refined grains, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

These foods all increase inflammation in our body, and the inflammation they cause is associated with a higher chance of developing colon cancer, according to pooled data from two major health studies appeared in JAMA Oncology journal.

According to researchers, a diet high in foods with the potential to cause inflammation, including meats, refined grains and high-calorie beverages, was associated with increased risk of developing colorectal cancer for men and women.

Basically, what makes for a healthy diet overall also appears to promote a cancer-free colon, said senior researcher Dr. Edward Giovannucci. He is a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“It’s consistent with what we already recommend for a healthy diet in general,” Giovannucci said, adding “I see that as good news. We’re supporting the current evidence, and not telling people to do something completely different from what they’ve been told.”

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For the study, conducted by Fred K Tabung from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, the team analysed 1,21,050 male and female health care professionals, who were followed for 26 years in long-term studies. The researchers completed the food questionnaires about what they ate, on the basis of which data analysis was done last year.

The scores were based on 18 food groups characterised for their inflammatory potential and were then calculated from the questionnaires given to participants every four years.

The results indicated that higher scores reflecting inflammation-causing diets were associated with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer in men and women.

Previous studies have linked diet factors with colon cancer, but there’s been no clear explanation why that might be, he added.

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