Colorectal Cancer Patients Should Be Drinking More Coffee

Coffee has long been a comforting staple in most people’s morning routines.

Coffee has long been a comforting staple in most people’s morning routines.

And, for those contemplating about the potential health benefits of their daily caffeine fix, look no further. New research has found that drinking coffee each day can lower the risk of colorectal cancer.

Stephen Gruber, MD, University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and his team analyzed the data of 5,145 individuals who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 4,097 people in the control group with no history of colorectal cancer.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, included a food frequency questionnaire, which outlined the participants’ daily intake of espresso, instant, decaffeinated, filter coffee, and consumption of other drinks.

The individuals were also asked to disclose information regarding their family history of cancer, diet, levels of physical activity, smoking habits, and any other factors that could potentially affect their risk of colorectal cancer.

Findings indicated that compared to non-coffee drinking, moderate coffee consumption — drinking one to two servings of coffee daily – reduced the risk of colorectal cancer by 26%.

The study also showed a 50% lower risk for colorectal cancer among patients who consumed more than 2.5 servings of coffee each day.

However, the team noted in a news release, “We were somewhat surprised to see that caffeine did not seem to matter. This indicates that caffeine alone is not responsible for coffee’s protective properties.”

Since decaffeinated coffee also contributed to the reduced colorectal cancer risk, other compounds along with caffeine must work to lower the risk of colorectal cancer.

Experts suggested that compounds called melanoidins (produced during the roasting process) are found to boost colon mobility, and the compound diterpene in coffee could boost the body’s defense against oxidative damage — thereby preventing cancer development.

According to Stephanie Schmidt, PhD, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, “The levels of beneficial compounds per serving of coffee vary depending on the bean, roast, and brewing method. The good news is that our data presents a decreased risk of colorectal cancer regardless of what flavor or form of coffee you prefer.”

Naturally, as the positive effects of coffee of continuously questioned, Gruber acknowledges the need for further research.

“That being said, there are few health risks to coffee consumption, I would encourage coffee lovers to revel in the strong possibility that their daily mug may lower risk of colorectal cancer,” concluded Gruber.