The secret link between vitamin C and prostate cancer

Disturbing headlines appeared last month in the Western media stating that taking large doses of vitamin C in the form of a dietary supplement could put men at increased risk of prostate cancer.< /p>

But are these really the latest scientific findings.

Publications in the Western media maintain that people who take high doses of vitamins in the form of food supplements may increase the risk of deadly prostate cancer by nearly 30%.

But the larger context of the study is ignored in favor of a hypothesis that grabs the readers’ attention.

Actually, the study is part of a larger and ongoing clinical trial that has followed about 48,000 people since 1986.

Its goal is to establish the mechanism by which lifestyle and diet can influence the progression of prostate cancer.

The study, conducted by scientists from Harvard University and Oslo University, focused on antioxidant intake /not just vitamin C/ from different sources and aimed to assess what the impact of men’s total antioxidant intake on prostate cancer development.

In this study, the largest sources of antioxidants in the participants’ food were: coffee /28%/, fruits and vegetables /23%/ and dietary supplements /23%/.

When evaluating the results of the study, the scientists found that high antioxidant intake provided a weak protective effect against prostate cancer when comparing the data of participants with average antioxidant intake.

But the study authors concluded that overall antioxidant intake had little to no effect on the occurrence and progression of prostate cancer.

However, some antioxidants work both ways.

Good news for men who drink coffee

For example, taking higher-than-average doses of antioxidants reduces the risk of developing any type of prostate cancer by about 9% and of advanced prostate cancer by about 19%.

Scientists, however, note that for the most part this protective effect is due to men’s coffee intake.

In men whose main source of antioxidants is dietary supplements, however, there was a 15% and 28% increased risk of being diagnosed with aggressive and deadly prostate cancer, respectively.

According to the authors of the study, the protective effect of coffee is probably related to specific antioxidants contained in it, non-antioxidant compounds, or other undetermined effects.

In other words, scientists are not sure how the protective effect of the caffeinated drink takes place.

Previous research in the large clinical trial also showed that men who consumed 6 or more cups of coffee per day had an 18% lower relative risk of developing prostate cancer compared with men who do not drink the caffeinated beverage at all.

The particularly strong protective effect of coffee is observed with regard to the deadly prostate cancer. For men who drink more than 6 cups of the caffeinated beverage daily, there is a 60% lower relative risk of developing the severe disease.

Coffee contains many biologically active compounds, such as caffeine and phenolic acids. Prolonged coffee consumption improves glucose metabolism and insulin secretion, and these findings are based on human and animal studies .

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