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Sorry, guys, extra coffee and gym time aren't enough in the prostate-cancer fight

December 9, 2009 | 12:51 pm

Coffee Drink coffee! Work out! For men who want to prevent prostate cancer (which is to say: all of them), those would appear to be the much-publicized take-home messages of two new studies released this week. This is fine advice -- but then, it was fine advice before the results were announced too.

The first study, by Harvard University researchers, found that men who drank lots of java had a lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Here's the release from the American Assn. of Cancer Research, where both studies were announced, and a Bloomberg article.

The other study, also by Harvard researchers, found that even a measly 15 minutes of daily exercise  reduced overall death rates in men with prostate cancer. More vigorous exercise, they found, reduced death rates from prostate cancer. Here's that release and a Time magazine blog post.

But here's a downloadable booklet, Nutrition, Exercise and Prostate Cancer, that highlights the whole puzzle, not just the pieces. Inflammation and oxidation play key roles in disease, it explains. Food, drinks, activity, supplements -- they affect such factors.

It offers a nice reminder as to why research on individual foods and activities should be taken in context. They're part of a larger whole.

(And here's a similar publication, Nutrition & Prostate Cancer, from UC San Francisco. Of note here are the specific food details and recipes. Check out the dilled salmon salad with peas.)

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: Drink up! Or you could just make sure your overall diet is a good one -- full of vegetables and lean protein. (This photo is actually of a tester at the Coffee Quality Institute, but the visual does highlight the peril of taking individual studies too seriously.)

Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times