In the office setting, people usually joke about coffee as a life saver. But there is a new study that finds that this just might be true in a literal sense.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute previously released a new set of study that shows that the consumption of a few cups of coffee per day is associated in the increase of health towards metastatic colorectal cancer patients.
Colorectal cancer pertains to cancer that is located in the bladder and area around the rectum. Meanwhile, the “metastatic” term means that the cancer has already begun to grow and has already spread across the body.
In a statement, one of the researchers said that a regular coffee habit results in a lower probability of cancer as well as higher survival chance against certain illnesses.
Based on the study, these health benefits aren’t due to the caffeine either. Even patients who drank decaf coffee appeared to have reaped the same health benefits as the caffeine coffee drinkers. At this time, it has not been determined what coffee ingredient is the core source of the health benefits.
Chen Yuan, ScD is a co-study author who stated in a press release that coffee is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties that helps actively fight cancer.
There are also previous Epidemiological studies that find that higher coffee intake is associated with improved survival rate among stage 3 cancer patients. However, the latter does not mention the association between coffee consumption and patients with metastatic disease forms.
The researchers gathered 1,171 metastatic colorectal cancer patients for the study. The analysis of the researchers led to the conclusion that people who drank 2 to 3 cups of coffee on a daily basis have a better chance of living longer compared to non-coffee drinkers. Furthermore, according to the study, the patients who drank coffee, took longer for the symptoms to worsen.
Indeed, the ones who drank more coffee experienced more health benefits. For instance, patients who drank 4 cups of coffee a day saw health improvement compared to the patients who only drank 3 cups of coffee on a daily basis.
The authors still have no clue how drinking of coffee affects the health of the cancer patients. They are not asserting that coffee directly cures colorectal cancer. What the study aims to confirm is that daily association of coffee leads to lower risk of colorectal cancer progression.
As of this time of writing, the research team is still gathering more information to finalize their research. While there are signs of recovery from drinking coffee, the research team said that they aren’t recommending cancer patients to start drinking more coffee.
Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH is quoted saying “Although it is premature to recommend a high intake of coffee as a potential treatment for colorectal cancer, our study suggests that drinking coffee is not harmful and may potentially be beneficial”.
This study is in support of the belief that cancer is not only cured by medicine but also by a modified diet.
Further research is indeed if we are to conclude that there is a confirmed connection between drinking coffee and curing cancer. The first question that the researchers need to answer is: What components of coffee are responsible for this health benefit?
This isn’t the first time that a research project has been launched for determining the real effect of coffee on health. However, this is the first-time researchers have shown the correlation between coffee and metastatic colorectal cancer patients.
Coffee and its health benefits is a largely debated topic on the medicinal field. This research isn’t an independent study. As a matter of fact, it is just a small trial test for a much larger group of researchers who had been studying coffee for decades already.
In the original studies, it is shown that drinking coffee is not only beneficial for cancer patients. In retrospect, it is associated with lowering one’s death rates due to multiple diseases that doesn’t just have to pertain to cancer.
While the research phase for coffee is still considered as “unclassified”, there is already enough data to debunk one of our major beliefs that coffee is one of the causes of cancers related to breast, pancreas, and the prostate.
On the contrary, there are indications that drinking coffee can alleviate uterine endometrium and liver cancers. However, the data is still insufficient to intelligently assess other types of cancers. People perceived it as a lack of convincing evidence because the results were usually inconsistent and sometimes contradict previous research conclusions.
Furthermore, a lot of people suffering from tobacco-related cancers are also coffee drinkers. In this sense, it is not clear how coffee can both be the cause and cure towards cancer. There are lots of discrepancies about the study that needs to be cleared out first.
For instance, researchers once thought that bladder cancer is caused by coffee but as we’ve previously said, further studies have already proven otherwise. As a matter of fact, it was concluded that the cause of bladder cancer is tobacco usage.
Researchers believe that several studies still need to be conducted for us to identify all the beneficial effects of coffee on the body. Afterwards, more research will still need to be done to also identify the potential risks of coffee on the body.
Coffee consists of hundreds of compounds that results in an increased energy expenditure and regulates genes involved in DNA repair. At the same time, coffee also contains acrylamide, an ingredient that is found on most fast food meals which poses risk towards cancer. In that sense, the effect of coffee on the body can work in opposite directions.
Overall, we can say that drinking coffee can bring a lot of health benefits. At the same time, however, we cannot ignore the potential risks that come along with this. Therefore, before the medicine community can further recommend more coffee intake, more examination is required. At this time of writing, the best recommendation would be to drink coffee but only moderately.
If you are interested in the full research of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, you can see it here.