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Six cups of coffee a day 'cuts risk of both womb and prostate cancer'
12:54 GMT, 14 October 2012
The effects were seen regardless of whether regular or decaffeinated coffee was consumed
Women who drink four to six cups of coffee a day are less likely to suffer from womb cancer, while men who drink this amount are less likely to suffer prostate cancer, according to a study using 117,000 volunteers.
The effects were seen regardless of whether they drank regular or decaffeinated coffee, suggesting the effects are not linked to caffeine.
Although many people limit the amount of coffee they consume because it can cause a spike in blood pressure, recent studies suggest the drink may also offer health benefits.
Regular coffee drinkers also appear to have a lower risk of Type-2 diabetes, gallstones, colon cancer and even Parkinson’s disease.
In the latest research, a team from Harvard University looked at the drinking habits of 67,000 women whose health had been tracked for more than 20 years.
They found those who drank four or more cups a day reduced their risk of endometrial cancer by 25 per cent, compared with those who drank less than one cup a day.
A similar effect was found for decaffeinated coffee, but tea consumption had no impact. The researchers then looked at coffee intake among a group of 50,000 men over a 20-year period.
The results showed that those who drank six or more cups had an 18 per cent lower risk of suffering prostate cancer and a 60 per cent lower risk of developing its most deadly form.
The results showed that those who drank six or more cups had an 18 per cent lower risk of suffering prostate cancer (pictured)
One theory is that coffee may have a beneficial effect on insulin levels. Previous research has linked insulin levels with tumour growth, and coffee may help to limit this effect.
The drink can improve glucose processing and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, all of which play roles in cancer progression.
The researchers are warning against adding sugar and cream to each cup because the extra calories could offset benefits gained from the coffee.
Womb cancer is diagnosed in 8,000 women a year in the UK, while prostate cancer is diagnosed in about 40,000 men.