Can Your Morning Cup Of Coffee Fight Cancer?
Coffee: Joining the Fight Against Cancer
Is coffee the cure for all that ails you?
For years now, scientists and researchers have been working diligently to determine the effects coffee has on the body. Does coffee help fight off infections and diseases because of the antioxidants and phytoestrogens found in it?
“Antioxidants help stave off cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke,” Dr. Joe Vinson, a chemist at the University of Scranton. And because so many Americans nowadays get their majority of antioxidants from coffee, it has become your army to protect you from chronic diseases, he said.
In addition to antioxidants, coffee is an important source of phytoestrogens, a chemical that has been known to play a role in preventing some types of cancers, as well as regulating cholesterol and maintaining bone density. Coffee also contains caffeine, which is good for the heart and arteries, Dr. Vinison said. It helps reduce headaches and the risk of asthma attacks because it improves circulation within the heart.
Coffee has also been linked to reducing the risk of liver disease. Several months ago, researchers at Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, a clinical research facility in Pasadena, California, found that drinking coffee significantly reduces the risk of liver disease. They found that drinking a cup of coffee a day lowered the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver for alcohol drinkers by 22%. And earlier this year, a team of Japanese researchers at the National Cancer Center in Tokyo reported that folks who drink coffee on a daily basis apparently have half the liver cancer risk of those who don’t.
Researchers at the University of Toronto also studied the relationship coffee has with cancer, specifically breast cancer. They found that women who drink coffee regularly and carry the mutated gene BRCA1, which has been linked to breast cancer, could reduce their risk of developing the cancer by simply increasing coffee consumption.
According to Dr. Steven Narod, a researcher at the University of Toronto, women who drank 1 to 3 cups of coffee a day reduced their likelihood of developing breast cancer by 10%. The more coffee the women drank, the better the response. If they drank 4 to 5 cups a day, the chances decreased by 25%, and if they drank 6 or more cups of coffee, the chances decreased by 69%. Researchers also found that drinking coffee reduces the risk of developing the most common form of diabetes. For more evidence that says yes indeed, coffee is good for you.
Mark Pereira, an epidemiologist for the University of Minnesota who worked in conjunction with a research team from the Harvard School of Public Health, found that men who drank more than 6, eight-ounce cups of coffee a day lowered their risk of Type 2 Diabetes by half. For women who drank the same amount, their risk was reduced by nearly 30%.
“When you get up to 4 or 5 or more cups per day, you have very powerful antioxidant activity,” Pereira said.
Fighting Skin Cancer with Coffee
Looking to fight the sun’s dangerous rays this summer? Then stock up on suntan lotion and coffee!
The National Academy of Sciences recently reported the combination of suntan lotion and caffeine can reduce cancerous tumors by half.
The study, performed by Rutgers University, exposed 90 mice to high levels of ultraviolet radiation twice daily for 20 consecutive days. At the start of the study the mice were divided into three groups, one group was protected with acetone or suntan lotion and caffeine, one group with suntan lotion and an antioxidant called EGCG, and the third group with just suntan lotion.
The results might leave you speechless because the mice treated with both suntan lotion and caffeine had 72% less tumors than those treated with suntan lotion and EGCG, and 66% less than suntan lotion alone.
Unlike sunscreen, the suntan lotion didn’t contain any SPF or preventative from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. However, the addition of caffeine did apparently prevent their skin from absorbing the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Researchers concluded that while skin health effects of coffee and caffeine does not necessarily have the same effect as sunscreen, it is yet another way we can prevent the adverse effects of the sun’s damaging rays.