Drinking coffee is linked to lower risk of colorectal cancer

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In a recent study, scientists from the University of Southern California found that drinking coffee may decrease the risk of colorectal cancer.

They examined more than 5,100 men and women who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer within the past six months.

They also examined an additional 4,000 men and women with no history of colorectal cancer to serve as a control group.

Participants reported their daily consumption of boiled (espresso), instant, decaffeinated and filtered coffee, as well as their total intake of other liquids.

A questionnaire also gathered information about many other factors that influence the risk of colorectal cancer, including a family history of cancer, diet, physical activity, and smoking.

The researchers found that drinking coffee was linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer, and the more coffee consumed, the lower the risk.

Even moderate coffee consumption — between one to two servings a day — was linked to a 26% reduction in the odds of developing colorectal cancer.

Moreover, the risk of developing colorectal cancer continued to decrease to up to 50% when participants drank more than 2.5 servings of coffee each day.

The decreased cancer risk was seen across all types of coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated.

The team says coffee contains many elements that contribute to overall colorectal health and may explain the preventive properties.

Caffeine and polyphenol can act as antioxidants, limiting the growth of potential colon cancer cells. Melanoidins generated during the roasting process have been hypothesized to encourage colon mobility.

Diterpenes may prevent cancer by enhancing the body’s defense against oxidative damage.

The levels of beneficial compounds per serving of coffee vary depending on the bean, roast and brewing method.

The good news is that the study showed a decreased risk of colorectal cancer regardless of what flavor or form of coffee people prefer.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer that is diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, with nearly 5% of men and just over 4% of women developing the disease over their lifetime.

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The study was conducted by Stephen Gruber et al and published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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