Despite the negative stigma that is attached to coffee, the popular beverage is still on the receiving end of positive studies on a frequent basis. Let’s look at the newest one, published in the International Journal of Cancer. Researchers from the University of Toronto found that women who are genetically predisposed to having a higher risk of getting breast cancer may be able to decrease that risk by drinking coffee.
The group of women examined numbered just under 1,700, which is a considerable sample. They came from 40 different clinical centers in four countries. All had one of two specific genetic mutations that are linked to the potential development of breast cancer. Researchers figured out their coffee-drinking habits in the same way that they always figure out dietary information — questionnaires. They took these numbers and stretched them out over the women’s lifetimes.
As a result of the study, the researchers found that the risk of developing breast cancer declined in all women who drank coffee on a daily basis. And it dropped considerably the more those women drank. Here are the numbers:
— 10% lower risk for drinking one to three cups a day — 25% lower risk for drinking four to five cups a day — 69% lower risk for drinking six or more cups a day
The reason for this, they figure, is the high concentration of “phytoestrogens” found in coffee. These natural chemicals are believed to have cancer-preventive qualities. As we’ve learned in the past, coffee does contain many healthy substances. Most of them are antioxidants that pack a big disease-preventing punch. Here are four more items from the past couple of years that have shed light on coffee’s protective abilities:
1) Protects against liver cancer: Following 90,500 people for a decade, researchers found that people who drank coffee nearly every day had a 50% reduced risk of liver cancer. (This is from Japan, where liver cancer is common, thus it is a significant finding.)
2) Protects against colon cancer: Examining 134,000 people in an ongoing study, Harvard scientists found that drinking two or more cups of decaf coffee a day cut the risk of colorectal cancer by 50%.
3) Boosts your memory: A 2002 study found that older adults who tended to drank one cup of caffeinated coffee before they took a memory test performed better than those who drank decaf coffee did. Those who didn’t drink coffee found their memories would fade over the course of the day.
4) Prevents diabetes: Two major studies in the past two years came to the same conclusion: Those who drink coffee each day sliced their risk of diabetes by significant margins. And the more coffee they drank the greater the decline in risk. (For example, six cups dropped it by 50%.)