Coffee could prevent endometrial cancer, according to a recent study. Researchers say that women can reduce their chance of getting the cancer just by drinking four cups of the liquid per day. It lines the uterus, protecting it.
Imperial College London chose to conduct the study to see how foods affect the chance og endometriosis. Eighty-four different foods and nutrients were considered in women, before considering coffee. The study found that those who drank more coffee lowered their risk by 18 percent compared to those who had up to two cups per day. There were no links to other foods on such a large scale, according to Melissa Merritt, lead researcher.
The researchers stated that previous studies led to the look into coffee. The results were not surprising, as previous studies hinted that this was likely.
Endometrial cancer affects about 55,000 new people each year in the United States. About 10,000 women die from the disease each year, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society. While researchers say that the link between coffee and reducing the risk is good news, it is just a link. This is not a cause-and-effect relationship. However, it is possible that endometrial cancer could be prevent by drinking coffee.
One of the limitations of the study is that the effects between decaffeinated and regular coffee were not differentiated between. The exact mechanism how coffee works is also unknown, but it is believed that the antioxidants help. These are found in other foods too, and are thought to slow down slow damage and can even prevent it when caused by free radicals. The free radicals are known for aging the body and are linked to cancer.
Merritt does not know whether caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee is better, but does not believe that the caffeine affects the decreased risk to endometrial cancer. She noted that other foods that have caffeine did not show the lower risk. That is the reason for the link to antioxidants. However, she did not state whether other foods that include high levels of antioxidants affected the risk.
Despite the results of this study, there is no definitive decision over whether coffee does decrease the risk of endometrial cancer. Other studies have shown there is no link, while many others have. City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center professor of medical oncology Dr. Robert Morgan did state that this new study is still valuable. It validates the other studies that do show there is a benefit. He was not involved in the study, and could only comment on the results.
The study looked at the diets of over 450,000 women in two studies. Researchers then narrowed their tests down to 2,800 women who had already been diagnosed with the cancer, which spreads through the uterus lining. Those who drank more coffee on a regular basis had a lower risk. The American Cancer Society suggests that women over 45 should drink more coffee as they are within the age group most likely to suffer from this cancer. While researchers may still be at odds, the recent study certainly shows that drinking more coffee could prevent endometrial cancer.
By Alexandria Ingham