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A Cup of Coffee a Day Keeps Cancer Away?

by Sárka-Jonae Miller
See more articles by Sarka_Jonae Miller

(The Best Years in Life) Most people drink coffee to wake up or boost their mood, but studies show that consuming this favored beverage can also reduce the risks of certain cancers. That doesn't necessarily mean that you should drink five calorie-laden frappuccinos a day or switch to decaf and up your intake, but a basic cup, or four, of regular coffee a day might be good for your health.

Findings from a study published in Cancer Research journal suggest that drinking caffeinated coffee could decrease your risks of skin cancer. The type of skin cancer most often diagnosed is called basal cell carcinoma. The study found that the risks for basal cell carcinoma were lower for people who drank coffee.  

Coffee, at least in large quantities, could make you less susceptible to developing oral cancer as well. One study discovered that participants who drank at least four cups per day faced only half the risk of dying from oral cancer.  The study was conducted over the course of 25 years.

Men and women each have their own reason to drink coffee. Women who drank more than four cups were shown to have a 25 percent lower risk of developing endormetrial cancer, according to a study in Journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Men who consumed six or more cups were 20 percent less likely to get prostate cancer.

Coffee also seems to have a positive correlation with low liver cancer rates. Liver cancer is the third most deadly and the sixth most common type of cancer. An analysis of 16 studies performed in 2013 discovered that drinking coffee every day decreased the risk of developing the most common type of liver cancer by 40 percent. Those who drank at least three cups daily showed more than an additional 10 percent decrease in liver cancer risk.

Coffee's ability to prevent cancer isn't exactly proven, but its positive effects on the liver have been. Coffee is good for liver enzymes and cirrhosis. This could be why it helps stave off liver cancer, if not other types of cancer, though another possible contributing factor could be coffee's ability to prevent diabetes, which is a risk factor for liver cancer.

   

A large study conducted over the course of 22 years found that people who drank even one cup of coffee daily had a 20 percent lower chance of developing alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver. The condition is caused by drinking too much alcohol and is an autoimmune disease that can cause cancer and liver failure. The study's findings suggest that the more coffee a person drinks, the lower his or her risks are of ending up in the hospital or dead because of alcoholic cirrhosis.

But drinking coffee also benefits the livers' of people who do not abuse alcohol. Research shows that coffee drinking assists in the prevention of the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease too. However, one study found that the consumption of four or more cups of coffee daily or the same amount of tea could help prevent the progression of the disease.

So maybe it isn't just coffee that protects against liver cancer. But, a recent study concluded that a compound in coffee specifically helped to stop human islet amyloid polypeptide, a substance suspected to contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. Other research has shown that drinking coffee with caffeine is associated with lower risks of diabetes.

Coffee isn't all good though. Drinking it too late can affect your ability to get a good night's sleep and some people feel jittery when they drink too much. The withdrawal symptoms when you don't get your usual intake of caffeine from coffee can be decidedly unpleasant as well. But the research does show a link between drinking coffee and staying cancer free. If nothing else, the findings suggest that there is something beneficial about making a cup, or more, of coffee part of one's daily routine.

See also:

Coffee Cancels Magnesium

Yerba Mate - South America's Health Drink

References
 
http://www.gastro.org/news/articles/2013/10/22/coffee-consumption-reduces-risk-of-liver-cancer
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristin-kirkpatrick-ms-rd-ld/coffee-health-benefits_b_2962490.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/coffee-health-benefits_n_4102133.html

About the Author

Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy. Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's Natural Healing Tips blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

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