Drinking this many cups of coffee a day may protect you from cancer

Recently, the American Cancer Society reported on a sharp spike in cancers affecting younger demographics. Among these was colon cancer, which claimed the life of actor Chadwick Boseman earlier this year.

While medical professionals draft available preemptive measures, a new study published in the JAMA Oncology journal highlights an underreported benefit associated with the most popular beverage in the world.

According to the authors, regular coffee intake protects drinkers from liver damage as well as increasing one’s odds of surviving colon cancer.

“In this cohort study of 1,171 patients with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer, increased coffee consumption at the time of study enrollment was associated with a lower risk of disease progression and death. Significant associations were noted for both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee,” the authors wrote in the new paper. “Several compounds found in coffee possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and insulin-sensitizing effects, which may contribute to anti-cancer activity. Epidemiological studies have identified associations between increased coffee consumption and decreased recurrence and mortality of colorectal cancer. “

Coffee intake and survival in patients with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer

Each of the participants was tasked with completing dietary questionnaires between 2005 and 2018.

A follow-up analysis collected between May and August of the latter revealed that participants who drank at least one cup of coffee a day enjoyed an 11% increase to their rate of survival compared to those who drank no coffee. These additionally evidenced a 5% increased rate of living without their condition getting worse.

“Although it is premature to recommend a high intake of coffee as a potential treatment for colorectal cancer, our study suggests that drinking coffee is not harmful and may potentially be beneficial,” Kimmie Ng, a senior author of the study from the Dana-Farber Institute, explained in the Harvard Gazette.

Participants who drank more than four cups a day experienced a 36% increased rate of survival and a 22% increase rate of living without their cancer getting worse.

The general consensus among medical professionals is that it is safe for otherwise healthy adults to consume up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day. This broadly translates to four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola and two energy shot drinks.

“Coffee consumption may be associated with reduced risk of disease progression and death in patients with advanced or metastatic colorectal cancer. Further research is warranted to elucidate underlying biological mechanisms,” the authors continued.

“It’s known that several compounds in coffee have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and other properties that may be active against cancer, Epidemiological studies have found that higher coffee intake was associated with improved survival in patients with stage 3 colon cancer, but the relationship between coffee consumption and survival in patients with metastatic forms of the disease hasn’t been known.”

Similar mechanisms are meant to explain coffee’s impact on reduced risk for  Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Parkinson’s disease and increased focus.

The new study titled Association of Coffee Intake With Survival in Patients With Advanced or Metastatic Colorectal Cancer was authored by Christopher Mackintosh, MLA, Chen Yuan, ScD and Fang-Shu Ou, PhD.