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Recent Study finds Coffee cuts Bowel Cancer rates by up to 24 per cent

By Joe Cox

Coffee and Bowel Cancer

The positive effects of coffee are multitudinous and far reaching it would seem and a recent study of nearly half a million Americans has produced more evidence of the benefits of drinking the black stuff. The study which tracked the health outcomes of 490,000 Americans over a decade found those who said they drank about 4 cups of coffee per day were 15 per cent less likely to develop bowel cancer compared to those who drank no coffee. Those who drank up to six cups of coffee per day were 24 per cent less likely to develop a tumour, although researchers stress more research  into the link is needed. 

Consumption of tea showed no real link suggesting that the benefits are not related to caffeine but chemicals found specifically in coffee. Decaffeinated coffee was shown to have some affect but not of the same scale as caffeinated coffee.

Colorectal cancer affects 40,000 British people every year, claiming 16,000 lives. Most commonly the disease is found in middle aged men and has been linked to the overconsumption of red meat and processed meats.

The research, published in the American Journal of Nutrition, is certainly one of the largest studies into the effects of coffee on health outcomes over a long period of time and has seen coverage in nearly all the major newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic. In this country, even the NHS Choices website has cited the ‘well conducted’ study but has importantly pointed out the reservations we should have when looking at any kind of cohort study like this, stating that the link between coffee and reduced rates of colorectal cancer needs more investigation and that ‘excessive amounts [of caffeine] can have unwanted side effects’. Exercise, a healthy diet and not smoking are all more important factors in preventing bowel cancer. 

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