Coffee consumption may lower the risk of colorectal cancer, according to findings from a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Researchers from the University of Southern Califonia (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center of Keck Medicine conducted a large, population-based study in over 5,100 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer within the past 6 months, as well as 4,000 controls with no history of colorectal cancer. Study patients reported daily consumption of boiled (espresso), instant, decaffeinated and filtered coffee, as well as consumption of other liquids.
Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH, and senior author of the study, stated that drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer, “and the more coffee consumed, the lower the risk.” Moderate coffee consumption (1-2 servings/day) led to a 26% reduction in the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer after adjusting for known risk factors. This risk decreased up to 50% when study patients drank >2.5 servings/day; the reduced risk was seen for all types of coffee.
Researchers explained the various elements in coffee that may contribute to colorectal health, citing how caffeine and polyphenol act as antioxidants and limit the growth of potential colon cancer cells. Additionally, the melanoidins generated during the roasting process may encourage colon mobility, and diterpenes may prevent cancer by enhancing defense against oxidative damage.
Though study findings were suggestive in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, more data is needed before establishing coffee consumption as a preventive measure, they added.
For more information visit keckmedicine.org.