Can Coffee Consumption Cut Your Cancer Risk?
ďI have measured out my life with coffee spoonsĒ said the poet T. S. Eliot in his famous poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. While he obviously intended a different meaning, it turns out that the brew itself may play a role in the longevity of a personís life, or at least a personís cancer risk.
According to research published in the medical journal Scientific Reports, your daily cup of joe may significantly reduce your cancer risk. The researchers compared coffee consumption and incidence of cancer. They found that those who drank coffee on a daily basis had a reduced risk of seven different types of cancer, including: oral, pharynx, liver, colon, melanoma, prostate and endometrial cancers. The news is especially good when it comes to your liver: researchers found that drinking three cups of coffee daily reduced the risk of liver cancer by 50 percent. Thatís great news considering that according to the American Cancer Society every year approximately 35,660 people are diagnosed with liver cancer.
While the study reported mostly good news for coffee drinkers and cancer risk, the researchers found a surprising, albeit small, increased risk of lung cancer among coffee drinkers. Itís not clear why coffee consumption would help to prevent most of the cancers tested but increase the risk of lung cancer.
Earlier research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that coffee consumption could reduce the risk of death. In the meta-analysis of 21 studies and nearly one million participants, researchers found a strong link between coffee consumption and a reduced incidence of death due to cardiovascular disease and ďall-cause mortality.Ē All-cause mortality simply refers to the general incidence of death from non-specific causes. The study found that the greatest reduction in all-cause mortality risk in people who drank four cups of coffee daily while those who drank three cups daily had the greatest cardiovascular disease risk reduction.
Of course, if youíre adding aspartame, sucralose (known mainly as Splenda), sugar, flavored syrups or other coffee additions, you may not reap the benefits of coffee consumption. These various add-ons have been linked to a laundry list of health problems and are best avoided.
Perhaps T. S. Eliot had some insight into the future of nutritional science and longevity when he measured out his life in coffee spoons?
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.