Starbucks better than Hospital.
May 18, 2011 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Men who drink the most coffee have a 60% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer. 'Even drinking one to three cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer.' But is that down to perhaps coffee drinkers having healthier habits? No: 'Coffee drinkers were more likely to smoke and less likely to exercise, behaviors that may increase advanced prostate cancer risk. These and other lifestyle factors were controlled for in the study and coffee still was associated with a lower risk.'

This study should not come as a total surprise, and coffee has been having increasingly better press in recent years, particularly when it comes to cancer. Head and neck cancer? Check. Liver cancer? Check. Maybe even some forms of breast cancer for some women.

Wait, wait. But what about Mormons? On the one hand there are reports of Utah residents being among the highest consumers of porn, and there's that report about the one hand and prostate cancer. But in the other hand, no cups of coffee. It would be interesting to see how that finally shakes out with regard to prostate cancer. And it does:

"Toward a better understanding of the comparatively high prostate cancer incidence rates in Utah"

"This study assesses whether comparatively high prostate cancer incidence rates among white men in Utah represent higher rates among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons), who comprise about 70% of the state's male population, and considers the potential influence screening has on these rates."

"Results
LDS men had a 31% (95% confidence interval, 26% – 36%) higher incidence rate of prostate cancer than nonLDS men during the study period. Rates were consistently higher among LDS men over time (118% in 1985–88, 20% in 1989–92, 15% in 1993–1996, and 13% in 1997–99); age (13% in ages 50–59, 48% in ages 60–69, 28% in ages 70–79, and 16% in ages 80 and older); and stage (36% in local/regional and 17% in unstaged). An age- and stage-shift was observed for both LDS and nonLDS men, although more pronounced among LDS men."
posted by VikingSword (58 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Goddamnit science, you're not helping.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:27 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Let me know how the argument turns out.

[sips mug]
posted by Trurl at 4:29 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reading this while drinking another cup of delicious espresso.
posted by gyc at 4:29 PM on May 18, 2011


I'm canceling my gym membership and using that money to buy an espresso maker.

Suck it, cancer.
posted by Pecinpah at 4:29 PM on May 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Tell that to Zappa.
posted by gcbv at 4:30 PM on May 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Luckily for LDS men, I have been drinking enough coffee lately to protect all of us. The things I do for men's prostate health!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:30 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Beating prostate cancer by drinking lattes with one hand and masturbating vigorously with the other.

LIKE A BOSS
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:32 PM on May 18, 2011 [40 favorites]


I've always thought of coffee and beer as health foods.
posted by found missing at 4:33 PM on May 18, 2011


More like Mr. GOOD Example!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:33 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it cuz of the more frequent peeing? The prostate feeds on delicious urine?
posted by ian1977 at 4:36 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does drinking heaps of Diet Coke count? Because if so, I'm probably the thing prostate cancer fears.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:36 PM on May 18, 2011


Does drinking heaps of Diet Coke count? Because if so, I'm probably the thing prostate cancer fears.

Why would you think that? It doesn't appear to have anything to do with caffeine - from the article:

The reduction in risk was seen whether the men drank decaffeinated or regular coffee, and does not appear to be due to caffeine.
posted by VikingSword at 4:39 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.
posted by The Whelk at 4:40 PM on May 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


To coffee! The cause of... and solution to... all of life's urination problems.*
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:42 PM on May 18, 2011


I wonder if HMOs will cover coffee enemas now?
posted by ian1977 at 4:42 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Coffee enemas? I think coffee does a fine enough job of that without enema assistance, thanks.
posted by indubitable at 4:44 PM on May 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


And they laughed at me, with my refillable 24 oz cup.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:45 PM on May 18, 2011


With all due respect, you have misrepresented the LDS study, by omitting its conclusion - "Comparatively high prostate cancer incidence rates among LDS men in Utah are explained, at least in part, by more aggressive screening among these men."

The study - which does not mention coffee at all - concludes that LDS men appear to have higher rates of prostate cancer because they are more likely to be screened for it, and thus more likely to be diagnosed. So they may just be more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, not more likely to have it.
posted by googly at 4:45 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


ian1977: I have an idea along those lines for a for a heavily modified 2-stage french press but cooling may be difficult, and liability will be a nightmare.
posted by Grimgrin at 4:45 PM on May 18, 2011


I prefer drip coffee to espresso. And by "drip coffee," I mean that I have coffee delivered directly to my heart via intravenous drip.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:46 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Take that green tea!
posted by straight_razor at 4:48 PM on May 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


liability will be a nightmare.

that's easy....

Caution: Contents are hot...in your butt.
posted by ian1977 at 4:51 PM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


With all due respect, you have misrepresented the LDS study, by omitting its conclusion - "Comparatively high prostate cancer incidence rates among LDS men in Utah are explained, at least in part, by more aggressive screening among these men."

Err, no. First, screening is not the entire reason - only part. We have no idea why there are higher rates of PC among Mormons. And it was not my intention to claim that the study throws light on the coffee/Mormon connection. My thought process was: if coffee consumption is associated with lower rates of PC, are there populations in the U.S., which don't drink coffee, it would be interesting to see if their rates of PC are higher. Who might that be? Why, Mormons drink no coffee... I wonder what the rates of PC are among them? And I dug up that study. Nothing nefarious behind it - it was a bit of lighthearted fun, and I thought I signaled that by a slightly jokey tone in that part of the FPP.
posted by VikingSword at 4:52 PM on May 18, 2011


I prefer whatever coffee is currently flowing into my mouth.
posted by oddman at 4:54 PM on May 18, 2011


I prefer whatever coffee is currently flowing into my mouth.

Over coffee that was previously flowing into your mouth? Or yet to flow into your mouth? Or currently flowing somewhere else? What the what????
posted by ian1977 at 4:55 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Civet cats must have titanium fucking prostates!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:59 PM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Civet cats must have titanium fucking prostates!

For sure! They pass the whole damn bean husk and all!
posted by ian1977 at 5:00 PM on May 18, 2011


You know... this could actually work.

A french press with a sealing lid and a valve and spigot above where the wire mesh plunger will sit when depressed, then all you need is a second solid plunger that seals around the sides of the press and the filter shaft. Make coffee as usual, attach and insert hose, release valve, depress second plunger.

You'd probably need some sort of radiator or water jacket around the hose to make it safe, as well as a disposable nozzle and a valve to prevent backflow at the end of the hose....

Okay who wants to help me build a prototype to go on "Dragon's Den"?
posted by Grimgrin at 5:03 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


They pass the whole damn bean husk and all!

Makes kidney stones look like Tinker Toys!*

*Note: Kidney stones do actually feel like passing Tinker Toys. Don't ask me how I know about the Tinker Toys.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:04 PM on May 18, 2011


Tinkle Toys?

A french press with a sealing lid and a valve and spigot above where the wire mesh plunger will sit when depressed, then all you need is a second solid plunger that seals around the sides of the press and the filter shaft. Make coffee as usual, attach and insert hose, release valve, depress second plunger.

Cool! Then you'll need to design a mobile version that is kinda like a Camel Pack. But for coffee. For your butt.
posted by ian1977 at 5:07 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously though, how much coffee do y'all who joke about drinking lots of coffee drink?

I reckon I drink about a 8-cup pot...











... before noon.
posted by fuq at 5:24 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to do a lot of wine detail work and I couldn't drink coffee beforehand cause my hand would shake juuust enough to be an issue.

I figure I drink about two to three cups a day, black, way less then I used to cause I noticed downing the whole pot of coffee in one go made me such. a. Jerk. And I'm not in a Nownownowgogogorunningandjumpingandliftingthings job anymore.
posted by The Whelk at 5:30 PM on May 18, 2011


Really, Whelk? You're going to pitch that jerk comment right over the plate, and I'm not supposed to swing at it?

Yeah, fuq - I'm rigt about at 8 cups by noon, too. I've cut way back.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:43 PM on May 18, 2011


You haven't seen me be a jerk.

Yet.
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 PM on May 18, 2011


( that's 20 bucks on the pay site )
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 PM on May 18, 2011


And it was not my intention to claim that the study throws light on the coffee/Mormon connection. My thought process was: if coffee consumption is associated with lower rates of PC, are there populations in the U.S., which don't drink coffee, it would be interesting to see if their rates of PC are higher. Who might that be? Why, Mormons drink no coffee... I wonder what the rates of PC are among them?

I get your point, and I didn't mean to imply nefarious intent on your part. But the way that you framed the post made it seem, to people who don't bother to RTFA, that the study identified higher rates of prostate cancer among LDS men, and that this might be explained by lower coffee consumption. Yet the study is silent on coffee, and actually (partially) calls into question the apparently higher incidence among LDS men. I don't think this necessarily contradicts your post, but it does complicate it a bit.
posted by googly at 6:04 PM on May 18, 2011


You know, people who spend their lives fretting about whether this or that will give them cancer or strokes or emphysema or heart conditions or aneurysms or make them infertile or depressed or manic or whatever, amuse the hell out of me. Because they seem like the most unhealthy sort of person I can imagine.

God's sake, people. Just stop worrying and enjoy life and all its rich, dirty pleasures. You're going to die anyway, you know? Why not have fun while you do so?
posted by Decani at 6:15 PM on May 18, 2011


You're going to die anyway, you know?

But likely not of PC, if this study is correct.
posted by ian1977 at 6:21 PM on May 18, 2011


God's sake, people. Just stop worrying and enjoy life and all its rich, dirty pleasures. You're going to die anyway, you know? Why not have fun while you do so?

Why can't you have both? Good health and enjoy life? Doesn't drinking coffee qualify for "both"? Not getting your complaint... I thought here we found something rare: fun that's also healthy, instead of more "broccoli is good for you". It's a celebration. Oh well, can't please everyone.
posted by VikingSword at 6:31 PM on May 18, 2011


Wheter or not coffee is good or bad for health, i'll still be sipping my cup every day!
posted by thegunner100 at 6:47 PM on May 18, 2011


I used to do a lot of wine detail work and I couldn't drink coffee beforehand cause my hand would shake juuust enough to be an issue.

One of my professors told me that his old embryology mentor used to titrate coffee with beer before doing dissections so that he could get the perfect blend of relaxation, steadiness, and alertness.

No, I have not tried it. Yet.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:52 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love coffee and drink lots of it, I really love espresso and drank lots of that until I found out about the nasty cholesterol in it, and am now back to drip grind, which is good, just not as good.

Maybe once a week I'll have a latte. A small luxury over here.

Coffee is jammed with anti-oxidants, it's great stuff. A couple of years ago, there was a spate of reporting on some study or other that showed coffee reduced alzheimers risk somewhat (I read it on the internet, it must be true! NPR NYT) and that sure caught my interest; alz is in my genes, thanx Dad. Seems you have to drink a lot of it to get the goods -- I've got it covered. Had it covered prior, too.
posted by dancestoblue at 7:05 PM on May 18, 2011


I was the kid who brought a 16oz mug of coffee with me to middle school every day.

In high school, it went up to 40oz - to account for the cafeteria's weak coffee.

...followed by a steady job in college at a coffee shop, where we'd occasionally beer bong iced coffee at the end of the night for kicks.

I love hearing this kind of thing.
posted by Vhanudux at 7:35 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


occasionally beer bong iced coffee at the end of the night for kicks.

part of me is very revulsed by the idea of that and part of me is very intrigued.
posted by ian1977 at 7:58 PM on May 18, 2011


I reaffirm my enjoyment of the beverage mentioned in the article.
posted by Theodore Sign at 8:07 PM on May 18, 2011


I was the kid who brought a 16oz mug of coffee with me to middle school every day.

When I was in middle school, I picked up one of those old style 20 cup percolators like they used to use in churches and such and put it in my room. I'd buy the big-ass cans of S&W coffee, and fill the bastard up every night before I went to bed. I plugged it into a timer switch so that it would wake me up every morning. I didn't sleep much, except when I was supposed to be in class.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:09 PM on May 18, 2011


One of my professors told me that his old embryology mentor used to titrate coffee with beer before doing dissections so that he could get the perfect blend of relaxation, steadiness, and alertness.

Ah, I see you've met my coworkers students.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 8:15 PM on May 18, 2011


This is a strange context for oneupmanship, but ok...

When I was an infant, my mother offered a breast. I took one look and said, 'I'm assuming that's a latte, but can I get it in a venti?'
posted by found missing at 8:20 PM on May 18, 2011


My real father was Juan Valdez.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:30 PM on May 18, 2011


Incidentally, the greatest wake-up trick I've learned is a variation on IRFH's 'timer' trick. I got a cheap-o 12 oz coffee maker, which I carefully placed in slightly easier reach than the clock radio. When the alarm goes off, in my morning-clumsy and sleepy state, instead of hitting snooze, I end up smacking the coffeemaker's "on" button, which is really a big bar and not some sad little digital button.

Same satisfying sensation of slapping the ever-loving crap out of a lowly machine for having the audacity to wake me...only instead of turning off "Morning Edition" for a lousy nine minutes, I get coffee. It's nearly trained me to strike out blindly at all machines that displease me in case they will give me prizes, too.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 8:48 PM on May 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


The report doesn't include any info on how much sugar and half-and-half you can add before it negates the healthful properties! I NEED MORE INFORMATION!
posted by tzikeh at 9:01 PM on May 18, 2011


posted by ian1977 I wonder if HMOs will cover coffee enemas now?

DOCTOR: Would you care for some more coffee?

PATIENT: Why yes, I'd love some more, thank you.

PATIENT'S WIFE: (THINKING, ECHO VO) Jim never has a second enema at home.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:46 PM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


*spit take
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:37 PM on May 18, 2011


I suspect that people with some sort of underlying physical advantage can tolerate drinking more coffee without any, or at least without as much, side effects that subtly deter others. This would also explain the lower incidence despite other poor health habits like smoking and lack of exercise.

So take comfort if you are someone who drinks large amounts of coffee but don't start drinking excess coffee hoping for health benefits until they establish a causal relationship or an explanation that is better than waving the antioxidant wand.
posted by srboisvert at 2:05 AM on May 19, 2011


I get headaches if I stop drinking coffee, and I kind of took that as a sign that I was too dependent on the caffeine and once in a while I'll quit cold turkey for a couple of months.

Welp.
posted by Phire at 6:39 AM on May 19, 2011


THANK YOU VIKINGSWORD FOR POSTING SOME MEDICAL NEWS THAT ISN'T A TOTAL BUMMER FOR ONCE.

Seriously, though: thank you.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:26 AM on May 19, 2011


In other prostate-related news, apparently the controversial PSA test might actually be valuable as a predictor of long-term risk. (It's always worth pointing out that the study results in question are extremely preliminary and haven't yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.)
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:05 AM on May 19, 2011


Aggressively screening LDS men for PC.

OMG, it's my dream job!
posted by Goofyy at 1:29 PM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


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