Here’s some health advice for all the coffee drinkers out there: keep drinking! According to researchers at the American Cancer Society, people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day could slash their risk of getting mouth or throat cancer by as much as 50%.
Studies have previously suggested that coffee intake is associated with a reduced risk for oral/pharyngeal cancer—however, none have proven it conclusively. U.S. researchers went in search of definitive proof of the link between coffee drinking and a protective effect against mouth and throat cancer.
The research team conducted a massive investigation to look at caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea intake and fatal oral/pharyngeal cancer. They took their data from the Cancer Prevention Study II, a U.S. clinical trial begun in 1982 by the American Cancer Society.
Among 968,432 men and women who were cancer free at enrollment, 868 deaths due to oral/pharyngeal cancer occurred during 26 years of follow-up. When the researchers factored in coffee intake, they found some startling statistics.
Intake of more than four cups/day of caffeinated coffee was associated with a 49% lower risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer death relative to no or occasional coffee intake(!). This association held true even when the researchers accounted for sex, smoking status, and/or alcohol use.
As for tea drinking, there was no association found when it came to lowering cancer risk.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
Cut Your Risk for Mouth Cancer in Half with This
Hildebrand, J.S., et al., “Coffee, tea, and fatal oral/pharyngeal cancer in a large prospective US cohort,” Am J Epidemiol. January 1, 2013; 177(1): 50-8.