Increased consumption of Italian-style coffee appeared to have a protective effect against prostate cancer in a large observational study. The results of the study were published in the International Journal of Cancer.
“Considering the importance of prostate cancer prevention through healthy lifestyles, this evidence gains important meaning in public health perspectives,” wrote George Pounis, of the department of epidemiology and prevention at IRCCS NEUROMED Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo in Pozzilli, Italy, and colleagues. “A possible biological plausibility of these observations was provided by a cellular counterpart, two prostate cancer cell lines, found responsive to the antiproliferative and antimetastatic effects of caffeine.”
Pounis and colleagues evaluated the effect of Italian-style coffee consumption on prostate cancer risk. This style of coffee includes caffè espresso and “moka,” as well as combinations with milk including caffè latte, cappuccino, and macchiato. They looked at 6,989 men from the Moli-sani cohort, age 50 years or older. Dietary assessment including coffee consumption was conducted using the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Food Frequency Questionnaire.
After a median of 4.24 years follow-up, 100 cases of prostate cancer were found. Patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer presented with lower coffee consumption compared with disease-free counterparts (60.1 vs 74.0 grams per day; P < .05).
Among disease-free participants, 28.4% were classified as having high coffee intake compared with 14% of participants with prostate cancer. Those participants with the highest level of coffee consumption—greater than 3 cups per day—had a 53% lower risk for prostate cancer compared with participants with the lowest consumption (P = .02).
“Our data have shown a protective effect by the long-term consumption of > 3 cups corresponding to > 90 g of Italian-style coffee/day,” the researchers wrote. “It should be considered that the preparation of Italian-style coffee in high-pressure hot water or boiling water and without the use of filters compared to other studied populations might result in lower loss of bioactive compounds and greater concentrations in the finally consumed food.”
The researchers also investigated the potential antiproliferative and antimetastatic activity in vitro of caffeine on prostate cancer cell lines. Two lines, PC-3 and DU145, were tested with increasing concentrations of caffeine. They found that both cell lines treated had a significant reduction in their proliferative and metastatic behaviors (P < .05).