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Pistolette is quitting coffee for a couple weeks, so I thought I’d revisit the topic myself.

I noted back in March that I’d started my eighth coffee reduction earlier than usual this year. Normally I wait until the weather gets hot, but this year I discovered the joy of dandelion coffee: roasted dandelion root + roasted chicory root = delicious.

Dandelion Coffee

(Thanks to Elana for the recipe.)

I was feeling good, everything was groovy — and then something happened. The Harvard School of Public Health announced the result of a study, which indicated that coffee may reduce risk of lethal prostate cancer in men. Among other things, the study found:

  • Men who consumed the most coffee (six or more cups daily) had nearly a 20% lower risk of developing any form of prostate cancer.
  • The inverse association with coffee was even stronger for aggressive prostate cancer. Men who drank the most coffee had a 60% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.
  • The reduction in risk was seen whether the men drank decaffeinated or regular coffee, and does not appear to be due to caffeine.
  • Even drinking one to three cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer.

Well, that took the wind out of my coffee-free sails. After all, cancer prompted my dad to have a radical prostatectomy several years ago, so the risk would appear to run in my family. I’d like to avoid that if possible. If gulping gallons of coffee might make a significant difference, well, why not?

So I got back on the bean, and I’ve been swilling java all summer long.

And you know what? It kind of sucks. I’ve enjoyed taking half the year off from coffee.

Hopefully further research will identify the beneficial components of coffee, antioxidants perhaps, and maybe I’ll find another way to ingest them.

Published inBodyDrugzFood & Drinx


  1. I wonder how many men die of anxiety related heart attacks from too much coffee every year? I’d stick with moderation. A cup of coffee every day should be enough to keep the prostate doc away – without inviting in the cardiologist.

    I’m not much on substitutions. I’d rather give up coffee twice the time than endure “roasted dandelion root” 😉

  2. Martin Martin


    Dandelion anything, roasted or not, is NOT coffee – nor is any beverage that has chicory (roasted or not) in it. Only a New Orleanian would think so – and I’ve spent some time in NOLA*

    As for coffee consumption offsetting prostate cancer – I’ve been a coffee-drinker and semi-connoisseur of coffee for more than fifty years with intake as high as 12 cups/day (yes, 12!! – jitter, jitter) at times, but now moderated to only 3 or 4 per day. Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer per a sampling biopsy – now there’s no sign of it. Was it the coffee? Was it spontaneous remission? Was it esoteric magic (I did quite a bit of work on it with visualization/meditation)? Who knows?

    I suspect it might be all three…or perhaps there was a mixup at the lab that analyzed the biopsy – we’ll never know.

    *As you may have guessed, I’m a native of the Pacific Northwest.

  3. Grampa Ray Grampa Ray

    I think I might like to try dandelion coffee. I’ve found a place to buy ground dandelion root, but I have no idea of how much to use when combining it with coffee. Any ideas?

  4. Dad, it probably depends on how fine the grind. My source for the root was very coarsely ground. I found I had to use a couple tablespoon but let it steep for a good twenty minutes. I’d assume a finer grind would mean less steeping. I think trial and error is key. Eventually you’ll find the right amount. Good luck, and enjoy.

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