A new study published this week adds to the emerging evidence linking coffee to lower risk of some cancers, giving coffee lovers another excuse to drink up.
This time, researchers found a lower risk of malignant melanoma in older adults with the highest coffee intake. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the U.S. and the deadliest form of skin cancer, but exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) and sunburns are the only key risk factors within your control, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute included nearly 450,000 non-Hispanic white participants. Participants answered questions about their coffee intake and then were followed for an average of 10.5 years to see if they developed a non-invasive melanoma, known as melanoma in situ, or malignant melanoma.
Those with coffee intake of more than 4 cups per day had a 20% lower risk of malignant melanoma compared to non-coffee drinkers. High intake of regular coffee and total caffeine, but not decaffeinated coffee, were also associated with a lower risk of malignant melanoma. There was no link between coffee intake and melanoma in situ. Continue reading
Quick: what do tea, chocolate and coffee all have in common? There’s actually a lot they share – including many cancer-protective compounds – but for all who answered caffeine, that’s the big one.
Now a research team has sequenced a draft of the genome of the coffee plant, finding that the caffeine compound has probably evolved independently of tea or chocolate. The researchers sequenced the plant Coffea canephora, which reportedly accounts for almost a third of the world’s coffee production.
The study was published on Friday in Science.
In all, the scientists identified about 25,000 protein-producing genes in the plant. (Humans have approximately 21,000 genes.) When they compared the coffee genome to the DNA of tea and chocolate they found coffee’s caffeine enzymes are more closely related to other genes within the coffee plant than to caffeine enzymes in tea and chocolate.
Compared to the grape and tomato, the coffee plant contains larger families of genes that relate to the production of flavonoid and other compounds, which contribute to the smell of coffee and are studied for their health benefits. Continue reading
A recent analysis on coffee possibly protecting against liver cancer has nudged its way into the headlines today, adding to the good news for coffee lovers.
Last month, AICR’s continuous update report on endometrial cancer found that coffee protected against this cancer. It was a modest reduction – 7 percent lower for that first cup of coffee. But it was the first time there was enough evidence for AICR to conclude that coffee reduced the risk of a cancer.
This latest study on coffee and liver cancer was published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Study researchers looked for all relevant human studies between 1966 and 2012, ending up with 16. Analyzed together, drinking any amount of coffee linked to a 40 percent lower risk of liver cancer compared to those who did not drink. Higher amounts linked to lower risk.
And compared to non-coffee drinkers, there was a 20 percent lower risk for that first daily cup. Continue reading