Coffee could be key in cutting colon cancer risk
For years, doctors cautioned their patients against drinking too much coffee. Their fear was that the caffeinated beverage could be responsible for an uptick in cancer, especially cancers of the digestive tract such as colon cancer. In the last decade, though, physicians have come to some surprising conclusions about the real link between coffee and colon cancer.
Israeli study offers positive link between the two
In a large study in Israel that involved 8,500 people, researchers found that drinking about two cups of coffee each day lowered their risk of colon cancer. About 3,500 of the participants did not have cancer, while 5,000 of them had colorectal cancer. This study showed that those people who drank coffee had a 30 percent reduced risk overall for having colon cancer compared to those who did not. Even more surprising is the fact that the more coffee people drank, the lower their risk of developing colon cancer.
While these are promising results from this study, many researchers hesitate to recommend that people begin to increase their consumption of coffee in an effort to reduce their risk of colorectal cancer. Nevertheless, for those study participants who drank between one and two cups of coffee per day, their risk of colorectal cancer was cut by 22 percent.
The benefits increase with increased coffee consumption
Even more startling, though, was that those people who drank increasing amounts of coffee showed much greater benefits. People who drank between two and two and a half cups of coffee each day reduced their risk of developing colon cancer by 44 percent. Those study participants who drank more than two and a half cups of coffee per day showed a staggering 59 percent reduction in their risk for getting this type of cancer.
A fact in this study that is worth noting is that, during this study, researchers asked participants how many servings of coffee they consumed on a daily basis. The definition of a serving was not defined, however, so the actual amount could vary and could be widely subjective, depending on the individual.
Researchers are not sure why coffee is beneficial
While some researchers theorize that coffee helps reduce colon cancer because it speeds the passage of substances through the intestines, others think the secret lies in the way coffee interacts with microbes that are present in the gut. Still others believe that coffee has antioxidant properties that help the body fight cancer better and more efficiently.
In addition to a link between coffee drinking and a lower risk for colon cancer, coffee has been shown to be beneficial for lowering the risk of other types of cancer as well. These are most notably prostate cancer and breast cancer as well as certain types of skin cancers. More research, though, is needed.
About the author:
Sandeep is an mountain climber, runner, and fitness coach. He shares his tips for staying in shape and eating healthy on quickeasyfit.