A new study has found that bowel cancer patients who drink coffee regularly survive the disease longer. Caffeinated coffee has been shown to lower their chances of tumor recurrence as well as death.
The researcher team noticed that patients with stage III bowel cancer were 52 percent (52%) less likely to experience death or tumor recurrence if they drank at least four (4) cups of caffeinated coffee per day.
But even patients who drank less – two (2) or (3) cups of caffeinated coffee per day – still lowered their chances of experiencing death or tumor recurrence as long as their coffee consumption was steady.
Dr. Charles Fuchs, lead author on the study and director of gastrointestinal cancer from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston), gave a statement saying that “There is already an abundance of evidence that diet and lifestyle can have a great deal of positive impact in terms of reducing the risk for developing colon cancer (bowel cancer)”.
He went on to add that the medical community has now learned that caffeinated coffee independently improves the outcome of patients with bowel cancer. However, it’s worth mentioning that the researchers did not prove the existence of a cause and effect link between caffeinated coffee and better bowel cancer outcome. They simply proved a mere association.
For their study, Dr. Fuchs and his team looked at about 950 patients with stage III bowel cancer. The project took place between the years of 1999 and 2001, and the subjects were asked to complete nutrition questionnaires while they were undergoing postsurgical chemotherapy treatment, as well as provide dietary information six (6) months after their treatment had ended.
The questionnaires had questions related to more than 130 foods and drinks, some of which were about the consumption of caffeinated tea, decaffeinated coffee and caffeinated coffee.
The researchers then monitored the subjects for cancer recurrence and death rates for a little over seven (7) years.
The results showed that 329 patients experienced cancer recurrence, usually within (5) years after finishing the initial treatment. Most of these patients (288 of them) died of bowel cancer, and 36 additional patients who did not experience cancer recurrence also died.
But the researchers saw a pattern – the patients who drank two (2) or (3) cups of caffeinated coffee per day were less likely to experience death or tumor recurrence, and the patients who drank at least four (4) if not more cups of caffeinated coffee per day were even less likely to experience death or tumor recurrence.
The conclusion held true even after the researchers took into account the consumption of sugary beverages, carbohydrates, and other foods and drinks that can help the disease progress.
Drinking caffeinated tea, decaffeinated coffee or just one cup of caffeinated coffee per day could not be linked to the same health benefits.
Dr. Fuchs did admit that only a very small number of the patients in the study drank caffeinated tea or decaffeinated coffee, and that further research needs to be conducted in order to see if the findings repeat themselves, however he also believes that based on the data he and his team have right now, it’s safe to assume that the caffeine in caffeinated coffee improves the outcome of bowel cancer.
This is not the first time regular coffee consumption has been linked to health benefits. Previous studies have shown that it can help obese and overweight people lose weight and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, it can help people perform better at work or at school, it can inspire works of art, it can benefit men with erectile dysfunction (ED), and it can prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
The new findings were published earlier this week, on Monday (August 17, 2015), in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
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