Coffee does not play a role in the overall prevention of colon cancer, say researchers at the University of Minnesota. In their study “Coffee intake and risk of colorectal cancer among Chinese in Singapore: the Singapore Chinese Health Study,” researchers examined the link between coffee and decreased risk of colon cancer in over 60,000 middle-aged or older Chinese men and women living in Singapore. They found that “Although there is a null association between coffee intake and risk of colorectal cancer overall, coffee may protect against smoking related advanced colon cancer.”
The link between coffee and colon cancer has been studied for years. In 2004, WEbMd reported that coffee consumption decreased a person’s risk of colon cancer by 25%. Coffee was also attributed to a decreased risk of other diseases such as Parkinson’s and gallstones. In 2009, a report in the Journal of Nutrition linking coffee to a decreased risk of colon cancer was reviewed by Colorectal Cancer Coalition contributor Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD. In his review, he identifies a compound called called trigonelline or “trig” which may be a factor in preventing colon cancer. More recently however, the International Journal of Cancer published a review of a range of studies which indicated no significant link.
The combined result of the studies, comparing high versus low coffee consumption categories, revealed no significant association between coffee consumption and colorectal cancer risk.
( Source: Reuters)
With a range of conflicting data, the link between coffee and a decreased risk of colon cancer remains unclear. As Dr. Lenz comments in his review for C3, “We need much more data to better understand what this substance is able to do and what the mechanisms of actions are before we run to Starbucks and order a double latte.”
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