Of hops, prostate cancer, beer, exercise, and coffee

A report presented at a cancer prevention conference in Houston this week suggests that a compound found in hops — xanthohumol — might have activity as a prostate cancer preventive agent.

According to Time magazine, at least some researchers are “enthusiastic” about this new discovery. It has previously been shown that xanthohumol can bind to estrogen receptors, blocking estrogen and potentially helping to prevent breast cancer. Now, early findings in a rat model suggest that xanthohumol may have a similar effect in blocking testosterone and thereby interrupting the development of prostate cancer.

The “New” Prostate Cancer InfoLink emphasizes that this is very early research, and we would need to know a great deal more before we could even consider testing xanthohumol in man. In the meantime, however, perhaps just one more beer wouldn’t hurt!

In other presentations at the same conference, other groups of researchers showed that men with prostate cancer who exercised vigorously for at least 5 hours per week could actually extend their prostate cancer-specific survival, and that men who drank large quantities of coffee each week were at lower risk for prostate cancer than those who drank no coffee.

The problem with the two latter studies, of course, is that they are retrospective, epidemiological analyses, and their ability to draw conclusions with any level of clinical utility is small. However, regular exercise is always a good idea for aging males. It helps to keep you “young” and healthier than a couch potato! Coffee addiction is probably not such a great idea!

One Response

  1. All the coffee and beer I drank when I was younger, noting that I still drink the coffee, sure didn’t do me much good. Neither did the broccoli, peppers, or green tea!

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