Is coffee drinking bad for your prostate?

Prostate: Coffee slows down tumor growth

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Drink coffee for the prostate? Two ingredients of the popular pick-me-up seem to slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells - even when common drugs fail. At least that's true for mice.

For many people, morning coffee is part of their daily routine: every German drinks an average of 162 liters a year. Not only does it make you awake, but it is also said to offer some health benefits. A Japanese study has now examined two ingredients that could inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Aromatic substances

Kahweol and Cafestol are the names of the two substances that Dr. Hiroaki Iwamoto and his colleagues at Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science in Japan. Both are chemical compounds from the group of diterpenes, the main component of vegetable essential oils. They occur in the fruits of the coffee plant.

In the laboratory, the scientists examined how Kahweol and Cafestol react with prostate cancer cells. The treated cells grew more slowly after the treatment - a first indication of the effect.

Cancer grows more slowly

An experiment with mice should confirm this result. In fact, the coffee ingredients also worked for them.

For the experiment, the researchers implanted prostate cancer cells in 12 mice. Four animals were then treated with Kahweol, four with Cafestol and four with a combination of both substances. Four other animals served untreated as a control group.

After eleven days, the tumors in the control mice were three and a half times their size - a growth of 342 percent. The tumors in mice that were treated with both substances grew the least - only by 167 percent, which is one and a half times.

"Possible new treatment method"

"The two ingredients seem to support each other in their effects," says study director Dr. Iwamoto. Cancer cells that do not respond to the commonly administered drug cabazitaxel also grow more slowly after treatment with the coffee components, the authors write.

"If we can replicate these results in larger studies, these ingredients are candidates for a new treatment for drug-resistant prostate cancer," says Prof. Atsushi Mizokami, professor in the urology department at Kanzazawa University.

It all depends on the type and preparation

How much kahweol and cafestol are in a cup of coffee depends on the type of beans and how they are prepared. Arabica varieties, for example, contain particularly large quantities of around three grams of kahweol per kilogram of dry matter and up to six grams of cafestol. A coffee filter, however, catches most of the two diterpenes. Espresso or coffee from a press jug contain more cafestol and kahweol.

Prostate cancer: 60,000 diagnoses every year

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men - around a quarter of all male cancer patients suffer from a tumor of the prostate gland. Around 60,000 new cases are diagnosed every year - and the number is rising. Men over the age of 70 are particularly affected.

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