Drinking black, decaf or even instant coffee daily can lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer, finds a study. Moderate coffee consumption, between one to two servings a day, was associated with a 26 percent reduction in the odds of developing colorectal cancer after adjusting for known risk factors.
Moreover, the risk of developing colorectal cancer continued to decrease to up to 50 percent when participants drank more than 2.5 servings of coffee each day.
"We found that drinking coffee is associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer and the more coffee consumed, the lower the risk," said lead researcher Stephen Gruber from University Of Southern California.
The study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, examined over 5,100 participants who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer within the past six months, along with an additional 4,000 participants with no history of colorectal cancer to serve as a control group.
A questionnaire also gathered information about many other factors that influence the risk of colorectal cancer, including family history of cancer, diet, physical activity and smoking. The indication of decreased risk was seen across all types of coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated.
Caffeine and polyphenol compounds present in coffee can act as antioxidants, limiting the growth of potential colon cancer cells.
"The good news is that our data presents a decreased risk of colorectal cancer regardless of what flavor or form of coffee you prefer," said study co-author Stephanie Schmit.
"While the evidence certainly suggests this to be the case, we need additional research before advocating for coffee consumption as a preventive measure," said Gad Rennert from Clalit National Israeli Cancer Control Center in Haifa, Israel.