One out of six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. More than 27,000 of them will die this year, according to the American Cancer Society. There are similar statistics for breast cancer in women. These are important health topics and do need to be addressed by everyone.
The dude in the back is Gunter Schlierkamp, IFBB Pro, in the movie Beerfest
Many studies over the course of many years have pointed to certain ingredients in beer, coffee, and wine as offering protection against cancer. While that may be true, this is not a reason to start drinking more beer or coffee.
Health Benefits of Beer and Wine
Xanthohumol, a flavonoid found in many plants, fruits, vegetables and spices including hops, is known to block estrogen by binding to its receptor. This plays a role in the development of prostate cancer because it inhibits prostate-specific antigen, which is directly responsible for the growth and spreading of cancer cells, specifically in the breast and prostate.
News like this is most effective at giving men a reason to drink more beer. Unfortunately, this is not the best course of action. Consuming high levels of alcohol has also been shown, on many occasions, to increase the risk of several forms of cancer, and to destroy the liver and kidneys over a long period of time.
There is no concentrated Xanthohumol supplement yet but you certainly can pick up antioxidant supplements such as resveratrol, acai berry, and pomegranate, if you have any interested in getting the antioxidant benefits of red wine, without actually drinking more wine.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Drinking six or more cups of coffee a day lowered the risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer by 19%. Who really wants to drink 6 cups of coffee a day though? Not this guy. The teeth stains and caffeine jitters are reasons enough for me to limit my coffee consumption to one or two cups a day, and that’s not going to change.
On another positive note though, Caffeine Helps Reverse the Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease, and I also once wrote this post about Drinking Coffee to Keep Your Brain and Body Healthy, which details the benefits of caffeine for the brain, cholesterol levels, and risk of cancer.
We need to take flamboyant media headlines like these with a grain of salt by realizing that this type of headline is best used to sell more magazines than to actually make you healthier. You might take some consolation in this news if you already drink one or two beers a day, but it’s definitely not a reason to start drinking 6 cups of coffee a day or to start consuming a 6-pack of beer or a bottle of wine every night.
A better prostate-cancer-fighting alternative to beer would be the drug Proscar (finasteride), which has been shown to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. Proscar is highly recommended by doctors for men with prostate cancer fears while drinking 6 beers a night is definitely not. If your symptoms become serious, it may be advisable to visit a urologist in London.