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Karin Lillis

Karin Lillis is managing editor of EndoNurse magazine and a contributing writer for Infection Control Today. She has more than 20 years of experience in health, news and business publishing-from community-based daily newspapers to clinical nursing and other magazines. She graduated from DeSales University with a degree in English/Communications.

Does Coffee Prevent Bowel Cancer?

Posted in Blogs, Cancer

Coffee's good, coffee's bad. Wait, coffee's good again. Coffee was always good. But not really. AHHH! Who can keep track?

Well, according to a recent study, in one regard coffee is definitely good. For now, anyway. Who knows if further research will refute this. For the time being, we can take stock in a study that shows that coffee may help prevent bowel cancer.

So, enjoy that cup a joe a little more today.

The study appeared this summer in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and examined the results of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea intake in regards to colorectal cancer risk.  

The study is called the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study and was developed at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The researchers described the background as: "Coffee and tea are widely consumed globally and are rich sources of potential chemopreventive compounds. Epidemiologic data for coffee and tea intakes in relation to colorectal cancer remain unclear. Despite differences in gut physiology, few studies have conducted investigations by anatomic subsites."

The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study included 489,706 men and women who completed a baseline (1995–1996) self-administered questionnaire of demographics, diet, and lifestyle. Over a median of 10.5 y of follow-up, the researchers identified 2,863 proximal colon, 1,993 distal colon, and 1,874 rectal cancers.

The conclusion? According to the researchers, "In this large U.S. cohort, coffee was inversely associated with colon cancer, particularly proximal tumors. Additional investigations of coffee intake and its components in the prevention of colorectal cancer by subsites are warranted."

More studies. More opportunities to be told that coffee is good, and then that's it bad, and then that parts are good for some things and bad for others. For now, however, brew a cup for your bowel's sake.

To read more from the study, click here.


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