London, Oct 14 (IANS) Women who drink four to six cups of coffee a day are less likely to suffer from womb cancer, while men who drink the same amount are less likely to suffer from prostate cancer, says a study by Harvard University.
The researchers studied 117,000 volunteers -- 67,000 women and 50,000 men over a 20-year period, the Daily Mail reported.
The effects were seen regardless of whether the people drank regular or decaffeinated coffee. This suggested the effects are not linked to caffeine.
Though many people limit the amount of coffee they consume as it can cause a rise in blood pressure, other studies suggest the drink may also offer health benefits, the daily said.
Regular coffee drinkers also appeared to have a lower risk of Type-2 diabetes, gallstones, colon cancer and even Parkinson's disease.
In the latest research, the Harvard team found that women who drank four or more cups a day reduced their risk of endometrial cancer by 25 percent compared to those who drank less than one cup a day.
A similar effect was found for decaffeinated coffee, but tea consumption had no impact.
The experts also looked at coffee intake among 50,000 men.
Those who drank six or more cups had an 18 percent lower risk of suffering from prostate cancer and a 60 percent lower risk of developing its most deadly form.
One theory said coffee may have a beneficial effect on insulin levels.
The drink can improve glucose processing and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, all of which play roles in cancer progression, the daily said.
The researchers, however, warned against adding sugar and cream to each cup because the extra calories could offset benefits gained from the coffee.