Coffee may offer bowel cancer protection

Consumption of four or more cups of coffee per day may be associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer, suggests new data.

The study – published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – analyses data from almost half a million people, finding that drinking several cups of coffee a day could help protect against colon cancer by between 15% and 25%.

Led by Rashmi Sinha from the US National Cancer Research Institute in Rockville, the team evaluated coffee and tea intakes of participants from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study included – taking into account both caffeinated and decaffeinated consumption – in relation to colon (proximal and distal) and rectal cancers.

“In this large US cohort, coffee was inversely associated with colon cancer, particularly proximal tumors,” said Sinha and her team. “Additional investigations of coffee intake and its components in the prevention of colorectal cancer by sub-sites are warranted.”

Commenting on the research, the UK’s NHS Choices service noted that the study was ‘well conducted’ and “does suggest a link between coffee consumption and reduced bowel cancer risk.”

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