One Lump or Two: Can Coffee Reduce Cancer Risk?

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One Lump or Two: Can Coffee Reduce Cancer Risk?

July 9, 2012

coffeeFor years, researchers have debated how coffee can affect health. Some studies have stated drinkers can experience high cholesterol and an increased risk of heart disease while others have lauded coffee for being rich in antioxidants and for offering protection against Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer.

A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition this month states there’s new reason to believe it can help prevent colon and rectal cancer as well, but more research is needed.

The National Cancer Institute followed half a million Americans over 15 years, taking a microscope to their diets, habits and overall health. Scientists concluded that people who drank four or more cups of coffee a day – regular or decaf – had a 15 percent lower risk of colon cancer compared with people who abstained.

Dr. Rashmi Sinha, the study’s lead author, said the theory held even after researchers adjusted their findings for factors like exercise, family history of cancer, body weight, and alcohol and cigarette use.

The only problem: they couldn’t find why coffee reduced the risk of cancer.

While you may be tempted to take this news and run to your local coffee shop, ACE would rather you just run. Conclusive research on the health benefits of caffeinated beverages like coffee is still ongoing, but science has already dictated that exercise can have a great effect on overall health.

The American Institute of Cancer Research estimates that up to one-third of all cancers can be prevented if we eat a diet rich in nutrients, maintain a healthy weight and get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

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