Is caffeinated coffee the miracle bullet?
An observational study published in Aug 2015 found colon cancer patients who regularly drink caffeinated coffee may be lowering their risk of colon cancer recurrence and death from the disease (1).
Havard researchers followed 950 people with Stage III colon cancer. The participants filled out questionnaires about their dietary patterns during chemotherapy, and then again six months after treatment was completed. The results show people who drank four or more cups of coffee per day were 42% less likely to have cancer return than non-coffee drinkers, and were 34% less likely to die from cancer or any other cause. These findings held up even after accounting for other foods that might impact disease progression, such as sugar-sweetened beverages and carbohydrates.
Researchers added that it's premature to tell patients to drink coffee to reduce their risk of the cancer's return as a randomized trial is needed to show cause and effect. However researchers are encouraged by the results. “Regular coffee intake has been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and it may be that through a similar mechanism, coffee may also improve outcomes for people with advanced colon cancer,” says Dr. Charles Fuchs, senior author on the paper.
1: Guercio BJ, Sato K, Niedzwiecki D, Ye X, Saltz LB, Mayer RJ, Mowat RB, Whittom, R, Hantel A, Benson A, Atienza D, Messino M, Kindler H, Venook A, Hu FB, Ogino S, Wu K, Willett WC, Giovannucci EL, Meyerhardt JA, Fuchs CS. Coffee Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality in Stage III Colon Cancer: Results From CALGB 89803 (Alliance). J Clin Oncol. 2015 Nov 1;33(31):3598-607. doi:10.1200/JCO.2015.61.5062. Epub 2015 Aug 17. PubMed PMID: 26282659; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4622099.
Dr Nicole Ng (MBBS) is a medical doctor with a passion in women's health and medical research