Good to the Last Drop: Coffee May Cut Cancer Risk

No matter how you like your morning joe, it could be doing your body a favor, according to new research from the American Cancer Society.

Chances are, as you’re reading this article at your desk or on your smartphone or tablet, you’ve got a cup of coffee in your hand (or at least within reach). And after learning the results of an American Cancer Society study released last week, you may feel pretty good about going for that second or third refill.

ACS says it may have found a connection between coffee consumption and a lower risk of oral cancer.

“The researchers analyzed coffee and tea consumption among people enrolled in the Cancer Prevention Study II, a prospective U.S. cohort study begun in 1982,” according to an article on the group’s website. “Among 968,432 men and women who were cancer-free at enrollment, 868 died from oral/pharyngeal cancer during 26 years of follow-up. Drinking more than four cups of caffeinated coffee a day was linked to a 49 percent lower risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer death compared to drinking no coffee or only an occasional cup.”

The study revealed only marginal evidence that drinking decaffeinated coffee could reduce the risk of oral cancer, and no link for tea.

“We are not recommending people all drink four cups of coffee a day,” said Janet Hildebrand, MPH, the study’s lead author. “This is just a little bit of good news for those of us who enjoy coffee. This study is about just one cancer site among many. There needs to be much more consistent research before we can support the conclusion that coffee should be consumed for cancer prevention.”

Coffee and cancer have shared headlines before. Research suggests that the caffeinated beverage may reduce the risk of developing skin cancer and uterine cancer.

ACS plans to further study the link between coffee consumption and cancer risk among a more diverse population in the next stage of its Cancer Prevention Study.


Rob Stott

By Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. MORE

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