Drinking Coffee Daily May Improve Survival in Colon Cancer Patients
BOSTON – A study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute said drinking two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day may help prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment, and it may also improve the chances of a cure.
This study is the first to make an association between caffeinated coffee and colon cancer recurrence. It augments recent studies attributing coffee with fighting development of postmenopausal breast cancer, melanoma, liver cancer, and advanced prostate cancer.
Coffee drinking has also been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The study was published online Aug. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Study participants were all treated with surgery and chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer and had the largest benefit from four or more cups of coffee a day. These patients, the study claims, were 42 percent less likely to suffer a return of their cancer than non-coffee drinkers were, and were 34 percent less likely to die from cancer.
Researchers are concluding the lowered recurrent cancer risk and deaths was entirely due to caffeine, and not other components of coffee, although the reasons are not yet clear. One theory is that caffeine reduces inflammation.
Dr. Ashley Burkman, ND, of Connecticut Natural Health Specialists, said caffeine has two anti-inflammatory effects.
“One as an adenosine receptor agonist which reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines including TNF alpha known to induce the inflammatory cascade,” Burkman said. “Second as inhibitor phosphodiesterases, which inhibits leukotriene synthesis. Therefore, making caffeine in the form of coffee a consideration in IBD flairs.”