Drinking coffee lowers the risk of colon cancer
Drinking coffee lowers the risk of colon cancer, according to researchers from the University of Southern California.
Coffee is a huge part of the American lifestyle, and has lately been the subject of exciting health research. Scientists are just beginning to understand the health benefits of coffee.
Previous studies have linked coffee to anti-colorectal cancer benefits. For example, research from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute showed that regular consumption of caffeinated coffee may improve recurrence of colon cancer after treatment and improves the chances of being cured.
The new research from the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center of Keck Medicine of USC examined over 5,100 men and women who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer within the past six months, along with 4,000 with no history of colorectal cancer to serve as the control group.
The study participants reported their daily consumption of coffee along with other liquids. The results showed that drinking coffee lowers the risk of colon cancer.
“We found that drinking coffee is associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer, and the more coffee consumed, the lower the risk,” said Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and senior author of the study.
The results showed that even moderate coffee drinking, such as 1-2 cups a day, was associated with a 26 percent reduction of colorectal cancer risk. When participants drank over 2.5 servings of coffee per day, the risk of colon cancer reduced by 50 percent. This included regular coffee and decaf.
“We were somewhat surprised to see that caffeine did not seem to matter,” Gruber said. “This indicates that caffeine alone is not responsible for coffee’s protective properties.”
Coffee contains many antioxidants and healthful compounds that help prevent cancer. Caffeine and polyphenols in coffee act as antioxidants by inhibiting colon cancer cell growth.
“The levels of beneficial compounds per serving of coffee vary depending on the bean, roast and brewing method,” said first author Stephanie Schmit, PhD, MPH. “The good news is that our data presents a decreased risk of colorectal cancer regardless of what flavor or form of coffee you prefer.”
Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and is the second leading cause of death by cancer amongst men and women, according to the Colon Cancer Alliance.
The American Cancer Society estimates 49,700 colon cancer deaths in the U.S. in the year 2015.
The study showing that drinking coffee lowers the risk of colon cancer was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, & Prevention.
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