Coffee is sometimes touted as a new superfood and sometimes criticized for being an unhealthy and unnecessary beverage.
The latest evidence comes down on the side of coffee and coffee lovers. There is evidence that it reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses. We now know that there are several reasons to enjoy coffee for its health benefits, and the most exciting news of all relates to all types of cancer.
Coffee Provides Cancer Protection
There are so many factors that go into the development of cancer, but the more you can do to reduce the risk, the better your chances of avoiding it. All kinds of healthy lifestyle factors, like a good diet and regular exercise, have been found to protect against cancer, but now coffee can be added to that list, providing some degree of protection against developing this disease.
This is especially good news for coffee lovers because at one-time coffee was thought to increase the risk of developing cancer. What researchers now know is that drinking beverages over a certain temperature, rather than the type of beverage, may increase cancer risk. The dangerous temperature limit is above the temperature at which most people drink coffee.
In addition to now knowing that coffee does not increase cancer risk, evidence has come to light that it may even protect against cancer. Specifically, it seems to protect against brain, oral, prostate, and skin cancers, but coffee has also been found to reduce the risk of death from any cause. Why coffee impacts cancer risk is not known, but it may be that it reduces chronic inflammation, protects DNA from damage, and promotes the death of cancer cells.
Coffee Extends Survival Times for Cancer Patients
People living with any type of cancer can feel good about keeping up with their coffee habit because researchers have found that coffee can actually improve survival rates. In one study, investigators looked at patients being treated for stage III colon cancer. Those who drank four cups of coffee or more per day were significantly less likely to see a recurrence of cancer. They were 34 percent less likely to die from cancer as compared to those who did not drink coffee. Patients who drank less than four cups per day saw some benefits, but the most benefits were four or more per day.
Whether you have cancer or you are simply interested in doing anything you can to reduce your risk, you can feel good about drinking coffee. It is important to remember, though, that coffee can be dangerously hot. The cancer risk increases with any hot beverage that is over 149 degrees Fahrenheit. The good health benefits can also be negated with too much cream and sugar, so go with black coffee or just a splash of low-fat milk. If you are a cancer patient and do not normally drink coffee, go slowly, and talk to your doctor before you make any dietary changes.
Written by V. Anderson