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A cup of coffee a day can keep the doctor away

New research published in The Journal of The National Cancer Institute may come as welcome news for people who indulge in a few cups of coffee a day, particularly baby boomers 50 and over. Whether you prefer your joe decaf or regular, waking up in the morning with this particular beverage can significantly reduce the risk for prostate cancer. 

Researchers evaluated data from 47,911 American men who reported their coffee consumption from 1986 to 2006. They discovered that participants who said they drank the most amount of coffee - six cups or more - were 20 percent less likely to suffer from all forms of prostate cancer.

Men who drank a little less, from one to three cups a day, experienced a 30 percent lower rate of one of the most lethal forms of prostate cancer.

Experts speculate that the effect may be due to coffee's wealth of healthy compounds, such as antioxidants. They can reduce inflammation throughout the body and help regulate insulin levels.

"Few studies have specifically studied the association of coffee intake and the risk of lethal prostate cancer, the form of the disease that is the most critical to prevent. Our study is the largest to date to examine whether coffee could lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer," said senior author Lorelei Mucci.

Her colleague, Kathryn Wilson, hopes that the findings can be used as ways to modify certain lifestyle factors for men who may be at risk for the disease.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men. The National Cancer Institute states that, while the cause of the condition isn't known, those who eat right and stops smoking can lower the risk for a variety of cancers, including prostate cancer.  

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