Epidemiological Studies Are Not Conclusive
To draw a connection between coffee and cancer risk, researchers have mainly relied on epidemiological studies. These look at whether a certain risk factor is associated with a disease. This usually involves making an association after the fact, meaning looking at who did or didnt have cancer and asking them about coffee consumption. But it is hard to tease out a single dietary cause when complicating factors, such as other health habits, may be involved. In addition, epidemiological studies often rely on peoples memories of what they ate or drank, which can be unreliable.
Plus, there can be alternative explanations, including something called reverse causation. For example, someone with a digestive tract disorder or bowel symptoms, both of which increase the risk of colorectal cancer, might avoid coffee because it does not sit well with them.
More conclusive evidence could probably be produced by a prospective, randomized trial in which people who are randomly assigned to drink coffee or not are followed over time. But such trials are expensive and take a long time.
I doubt well ever have a randomized trial to study the effects of coffee, Dr. Nash says. I think the breakthroughs are going to come through understanding mechanisms better how a specific chemical compound affects the body. This includes how it affects the bacteria in the digestive tract, what we call the microbiome.
Does The Type Of Alcohol Matter
Ethanol is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic drinks, whether they are beers, wines, liquors , or other drinks. Alcoholic drinks contain different percentages of ethanol, but in general, a standard size drink of any type 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor contains about the same amount of ethanol . Of course, larger or stronger drinks can contain more ethanol than this.
Overall, the amount of alcohol someone drinks over time, not the type of alcoholic beverage, seems to be the most important factor in raising cancer risk. Most evidence suggests that it is the ethanol that increases the risk, not other things in the drink.
Coffee Cuts Risk Of Liver Cancer
Research has found that regular coffee consumption can reduce the risk of liver cancer by 40 percent. In fact, the studypublished in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatologyfound that people who consume more than three cups of coffee per day reduce their risk by more than 50 percent.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of data collected between 1996 and 2012 and then selected 16 studies that involved a total of 3,153 liver cancer cases. They included data on 900 more recent cases of HCC published since their last detailed study from 2007.
They found that individuals who consume any amount of coffee have a 40 percent reduced risk of HCC compared to those who drink no coffee. Whats more, the higher the consumption, the more the risk was reduced. Those who drank more than three cups per day had a 50 percent or more reduced risk. The association between coffee and reduced risk was consistent regardless of gender, alcohol consumption, or history of hepatitis or liver disease.
The researchers concluded that coffee appears to reduce the risk of liver cancer. They speculate that it might affect liver enzymes and the development of cirrhosis and therefore, could protect against liver cancer.
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Preparation Methods Of Coffee And Tea Are Also Contradictory
Not only do results on the effect of coffee on breast cancer risk vary with age, menopausal status, and more, but the method by which it’s prepared adds another variable. A 2019 study on Chinese women in Hong Kong found that consuming coffee products did not increase the risk of breast cancer.
When broken down by preparation methods, however, there were significant differences. Women who drank brewed coffee, for instance, were, on average, 52%less likely to develop breast cancer. In contrast, those who drank instant coffee were 50% more likely to develop the disease.
Just as proper preparation of green tea is essential to obtain the phytonutrients present, the way coffee is prepared could easily affect the nutrients present.
There are many factors at play when it comes to the relationship between coffee and breast cancer. Hormone therapy and other risk factors play a far stronger role on the risk of breast cancer than coffee does.
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How Does Drinking Coffee Reduce The Risk Of Some Cancers
The potential mechanisms by which drinking coffee may prevent some cancers are not fully understood. In general, coffee contains a range of biologically active compounds, including caffeine, chlorogenic acid, and diterpenes, which may have beneficial effects because of their antioxidant, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Coffee drinking may lower the risk of endometrial cancer by reducing estrogen levels and/or through an insulin-mediated mechanism.
- The protective effect against liver cancer may also be partly because of coffee-related increases in insulin sensitivity.
- The influence of coffee on digestive tract motility and liver metabolism may contribute to a lower risk for some digestive cancers.
Good Genes Are Nice But Joy Is Better
In a large group of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, consumption of a few cups of coffee a day was associated with longer survival and a lower risk of the cancer worsening, researchers at Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other organizations report in a new study.
The findings, based on data from a large observational study nested in a clinical trial, are in line with earlier studies showing a connection between regular coffee consumption and improved outcomes in patients with non-metastatic colorectal cancer. The study is being published today by JAMA Oncology.
The investigators found that in 1,171 patients treated for metastatic colorectal cancer, those who reported drinking two to three cups of coffee a day were likely to live longer overall, and had a longer time before their disease worsened, than those who didnt drink coffee. Participants who drank larger amounts of coffee more than four cups a day had an even greater benefit in these measures. The benefits held for both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.
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Foods And Drinks To Avoid
Caffeine doesn’t need to be avoided, unless otherwise stated by your doctor, but there are other beverages you should limit to prevent pancreas complications. “Most definitely, patients with pancreatitis should avoid alcohol and drinks which can exacerbate the condition or tax an already stressed organ system,” Dr. Childs says.
A January 2017 review published in Alcohol Research noted some interesting findings in the body of research on alcohol and your pancreas. Studies have:
- Historically associated 60 to 90 percent ofchronic pancreatitis cases with alcohol use,but some newer studies have shown a lowerpercentage.
- Shownthat heavy drinkers had a 40 percent increased risk of pancreaticdisease.
- Shown thatdrinkers who consumed more than three drinks per day had around a 20percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
The pancreas can get aggravated by certain foods as well. “High fat and fried foods as well as simple sugars can increase the fat in the bloodstream, which may increase the risk of pancreatitis,” Dr. Childs says. She lists foods that fit in this category as:
- Food fried in oil orfats, such as french fries.
- Potato or tortilla chips.
- Full-fat dairy products.
- Pastries and doughnuts.
The American Cancer Society backs up Dr. Childs, stating that sugary drinks, diets with red and processed meats and high saturated fat intake may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Caffeine And Breast Cancer Risk
Caffeine consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer in a few studies, though the results have been inconsistent. Furthermore, more research is needed into the reason for the possible link, as well as the ideal timing and amount of caffeine that could potentially have any effect on breast cancer.
One group of researchers in Italy examined 21 studies on this subject but were unable to find a relationship between caffeine consumption and the risk of breast cancer. However, when they looked at a small subset of the data, they discovered that drinking four cups of coffee per day was associated with a 10% reduction in postmenopausal cancer risk.
A Swedish study echoed this sentiment, noting that coffee consumption could decrease breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women. In this study, women who consumed three to four cups of coffee per day had a slightly lower rate of breast cancer than women who consumed two cups of coffee per day or less. And women who consumed five or more cups of coffee per day had an even lower rate of breast cancer.
Researchers who conducted a large multinational trial also suggested that a higher intake of caffeinated coffee is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
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The Only Thing Coffee
The only thing coffee-drinkers need to be aware of, he says, is withdrawal. Anyone who drinks a few cups of coffee a day is dependent on caffeine. If you took their coffee away, theyd be tired and would maybe have a headache, Rogers says. These symptoms depend on how much coffee the person was drinking, but they usually last between three days and a week, he says in which time, caffeine is the only thing that will alleviate them.
Kinds of coffee
The way you brew your coffee whether lovingly crafting it from bean to cup or throwing some instant powder into a mug doesnt seem to change the association with better health. By studying people across Europe, Gunter found that various types of coffee still were associated with health benefits.
People drank a smaller espresso in Italy and Spain in northern Europe, people drank larger volumes coffee and more instant coffee, says Gunter. We looked at different types coffee and saw consistent results across counties, which suggests its not about types of coffee but coffee-drinking per se.
All types of coffee are associated with health benefits, though those benefits are stronger for ground coffee
While it may not help you through a busy day at work, Gunter says the available, up-to-date evidence suggests that drinking up to four cups of coffee a day could have health benefits, including lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
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Is Caffeine Really Bad For You A Doctor Weighs In
What you should know before you down your next cup of coffee.
Don’t dump out your coffee quite yet.
Mmmm, coffee. If you’re anything like me, you can’t live without a morning cup . But with all the fear mongering about how caffeine might give you heart disease or cancer, you may be feeling a little freaked out about the habit.
I was mainly terrified at the prospect of having to quit coffee, so I did some research and talked to Dr. Matthew Chow, a neurologist and assistant clinical professor at UC Davis, to get the lowdown on caffeine intake. He told me everything you need to know, including who should stay away from the stuff, what health benefits it could provide and how to know when you need to quit.
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What Does The American Cancer Society Recommend
According to the American Cancer Society Guideline for Diet and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention, it is best not to drink alcohol. People who choose to drink alcohol should limit their intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
The recommended limit is lower for women because of their smaller body size and because their bodies tend to break down alcohol more slowly.
Does The National Cancer Institute Recommend The Use Of Tea To Prevent Cancer
NCI is a research institution. It develops evidence-based research results for others to interpret. In general, therefore, NCI does not make recommendations about specific medical or dietary interventions.
Moreover, as noted above, the evidence regarding the potential benefits of tea consumption in relation to cancer is inconclusive at present.
Seeram NP, Henning SM, Niu Y, et al. Catechin and caffeine content of green tea dietary supplements and correlation with antioxidant capacity. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2006 54:15991603.
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Coffee Consumption In The United States
Fifty-four percent of adults in the United States drink coffee every day, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
The average coffee drinker consumes three cups of it each day. Thus far, research indicates coffee doesnt cause breast cancer or increase its risk. In fact, it could actually be tied to a lower risk of breast cancer risk.
The Verdict: Coffee Is Not Important But The Big Health Picture Is
Dr. Nash says the current studies should not be grounds for changing coffee-drinking behavior. People should feel free to have coffee, but theres no reason to start drinking it more often as a preventive measure, he says.
Whats more important, he says, is that people keep an eye on the big picture and follow well-established health guidelines. Almost every patient asks me what they can do to keep the cancer from coming back, he says. I tell them to cut down on processed food eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains drink alcohol in moderation exercise and dont smoke.
If you enjoy coffee, feel free to continue drinking it in reasonable amounts. he adds. Just dont add sugar. Consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to weight gain and increase the risk of obesity and diabetes, which may in turn increase the risk of cancer and other health problems.
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Coffee And Skin Cancer
The exact biological mechanisms linking coffee consumption to malignant melanoma and basal cell carcinoma are uncertain. Coffee drinking provides exposure to a range of biologically active compounds, many of which have been demonstrated in in vitro and animal studies to have anti-oxidant and anti-tumorigenic properties.
These include high levels of certain phenolic phytochemicals, such as the anti-oxidants caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, and natural diterpenes, such as cafestol and kahweol, which have been shown to inhibit changes in DNA methylation, induce apoptosis, and have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.
Is It Bad If I’m Addicted To Caffeine
It depends. If you find yourself physically dependent on caffeine, Chow says that it’s a good idea to ask yourself why. Do you chug coffee throughout the day because you don’t sleep well at night? If so, it’s time to focus on getting enough high-quality rest during the nighttime instead of ordering more double shot espressos.
Again, if you’re dependent on caffeine and also have a heart disorder, high blood pressure or any other chronic health conditions, you should highly consider weaning yourself off. Chow explained that a large part of caffeine addiction is psychological — sometimes all we really want is a warm beverage in the morning. Substituting a latte for a hot cup of herbal tea may give you that same good feeling.
If you are downing several energy drinks each day, you might need to cut back.
Other than that, if you keep your caffeine intake to a safe level, there’s not necessarily a compelling reason to force yourself to quit. Those two cups of black coffee in the morning most likely aren’t doing you any harm.
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Can Caffeine Cause Breast Lumps
It cannot be said that caffeine causes breast lumps or cysts or fibrocystic changes in the breasts. Furthermore, theres no evidence to suggest a relationship between drinking coffee and breast cancer.
Some women anecdotally report that their symptoms of breast pain improve when they stop or decrease the amount of coffee in their diet. This effect isnt documented by any research, but you can go caffeine-free and see if this relieves the discomfort of breast lumps and cysts.
People who have cancer should avoid the following beverages, particularly during and after chemotherapy:
- Very cold or hot beverages
- Caffeinated beverages
- They should also use milk products with caution.
Mat And Cancer Of The Mouth Pharynx And Larynx
Any carcinogenic effects of mate are believed to be due to consumption at very hot temperatures , which can cause chronic mucosal injury that can promote tumorigenesis. Repeated thermal injury has been shown to promote upper oesophageal carcinogenesis in rodent studies, supporting this proposed mechanism.
Effect On Absorption Of Folate Or Other Nutrients
Alcohol might affect the bodys ability to absorb some nutrients, such as folate. Folate is a vitamin that cells in the body need to stay healthy. Absorption of nutrients can be even worse in heavy drinkers, who often consume low levels of folate to begin with. Low folate levels may play a role in the risk of some cancers, such as breast and colorectal cancer.