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Coffee Drinkers Survive Better To Colon Cancer

A new study that links coffee drinking and colon cancer survival has been published. The results of this study are mainly a clear approach to the effects of caffeine on cancer patients, but further research is needed to set this link as a scientifically proven true. However, evidence is contundent and researchers see this topic as a promising piece of a big puzzle. Check out this article which will make you love even more your daily cups of coffee.

By RONI CARYN RABIN for The New York Times

Colon cancer patients who were heavy coffee drinkers had a far lower risk of dying or having their cancer return than those who did not drink coffee, with significant benefits starting at two to three cups a day, a new study found. Patients who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee or more a day had half the rate of recurrence or death than noncoffee drinkers.

But, the researchers caution, cancer patients should not start ordering extra tall coffees. The study, the first to report such findings, does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between coffee drinking and a lower risk of colon cancer recurrence. As other experts note, there may be differences between heavy coffee drinkers and abstainers that the research was not able to account for.

In recent years, many studies have pointed to coffee’s health benefits, suggesting coffee may protect against Type 2 diabetes, reduce overall deaths and perhaps even help protect against dementia. Other studies have suggested coffee may reduce the risks of certain cancers, including colon cancer. The benefits are generally attributed to coffee’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

But as with many studies about diet, proving a link between coffee consumption and protection against cancer recurrence is difficult.

The patients, recruited from 1999 to 2001, were asked to fill out detailed dietary pattern questionnaires about food intake and lifestyle, first during chemotherapy and again six months later. The questionnaires asked about their intake of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee, herbal and nonherbal tea, caffeinated soft drinks and chocolate.

They determined that patients who had reported drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day were 52 percent less likely to have had a recurrence of cancer or to have died than those who had never drank coffee, while those who drank two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day were 31 percent less likely than nondrinkers to have had a recurrence or to have died. Sweetened coffee beverages did not count.

The analysis determined the lowered risk associated with coffee was entirely because of the caffeine. One hypothesis is that caffeine increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, so it requires less of the hormone. That, in turn, may reduce inflammation, which is a risk factor for diabetes and cancer.

To learn more, see the original article published by The New York Times here.

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