- New research found that more coffee drinkers had better outcomes in colon cancer patients, with longer survival and lower risk of cancer worsening.
- Researchers found that the more coffee they drank up to 4 cups a day, the better the results. This was true of both caffeinated and decaf coffee.
- It does not suggest that coffee can cure or prevent cancer, but it does add to existing evidence that the popular drink is safe and may provide a range of health benefits.
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For people suffering from colon cancer, a cup of coffee may provide some unexpected benefits.
According to a study published on 17 September in JAMA Oncology, drinking more coffee, up to four cups per day, was associated with better outcomes in patients with colon cancer.
Researchers at several medical institutions, including the Mayo Clinic and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, looked at 1,171 colon cancer patients in an observational study as part of a clinical trial.
Despite variables such as race, alcohol use, and even coffee additives such as milk and sugar, they found that anyone who drank two or three cups of coffee a day had better overall survival than those patients , Who did not drink any coffee.
The cancer of coffee drinkers progressed more slowly, and they were less likely to worsen, they found.
What’s more, the more coffee patients consume, the bigger the associated benefits. Patients who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had the best survival rates, and the lowest risk of complications from the disease. The study found that this was true for both caffeinated and def coffee.
Years of research shows that coffee helps people with stomach cancer
While these results are not sufficient to establish a causal relationship between coffee drinking and improved cancer outcomes, the apparent association adds to existing evidence of the benefits of coffee for health.
Previous research has shown that coffee is not only safe in moderate amounts (up to five cups a day), but is also associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, healthy metabolism, and a lower incidence of cardiovascular diseases.
And researchers have long found specific benefits for stomach cancer patients. Two previous studies in 2017 and 2015 found that drinking coffee was associated with better outcomes in patients with first-stage, nonmetastatic colon cancer.
Scientists hypothesize that coffee may have a protective effect in cancer patients because it helps moderate insulin levels, but also because it has a high antioxidant content.
Coffee is not a cure or prevention, but research is expected to increase the rate of colon cancer
If confirmed, it could be a major breakthrough for patient outcomes, as research has shown that colon cancer has been increasing over the past decade, especially among young people. Adults older than 50 years of age, however, continue to be at risk, as are those with a family history of cancer or lifestyle risk factors such as poor diet or lack of access to care.
More research is needed to understand how coffee may play a role in cancer outcomes. Meanwhile, however, according to researchers, coffee should not be considered a means to cure or prevent cancer.
“While it is premature to recommend high intake of coffee as a possible cure for colorectal cancer, our study suggests that drinking coffee is not harmful and may possibly be beneficial,” Dr. Kimmy Ng, senior author and co-director of the study of colon and rectal cancer in Dana-Farber, said in a press release.
“Further research is necessary to determine whether there is indeed a causal relationship between coffee consumption and improved outcome in colorectal cancer patients, and what compounds within coffee are actually responsible for this benefit.”
According to a review of 95 studies on coffee drinkers, drinking up to 5 cups of coffee a day does not pose long-term hazards and may also reduce the risk of chronic disease.
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