Earlier this year, research by Texas AgriLife scientists found that a compound in coffee, known as trigonelline, or trig, can stop cancer from developing. They found it could prevent colon cancer and post-menopausal symptoms in women.
Now, nine studies have been looked at by the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah, and the results show that heavy coffee drinkers also have a decreased risk of neck cancers and of oral cavities.
Some of the studies have also shown a reduced risk of brain tumors and prostate cancer among those who drink lots of coffee. Those who drank four or more cups a day, when compared with people who didn’t drink coffee, had 39 percent less chance of developing pharyngeal cancer and oral cavities.
Evidence in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, January 2010, found that those who drank five or more cups of coffee or tea per day had a decreased risk of brain tumors. Men who drink lots of coffee have also been found to be 60 percent less likely to develop an aggressive and usually fatal form of prostate cancer.
Lead researcher Mia Hashibe, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator, said “Since coffee is so widely used and there is a relatively high incidence and low survival rate of these forms of cancers, our results have important public health implications that need to be further addressed. What makes our results so unique is that we had a very large sample size, and since we combined data across many studies, we had more statistical power to detect associations between cancer and coffee.”
Johanna Lampe, Editorial Board Member of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal, commented on the effect of caffeinated coffee on cancer.
“The fact that this was seen for oral and pharyngeal cancers, but not laryngeal cancers, provides some evidence as to a possible specificity of effect. These findings provide further impetus to pursue research to understand the role of coffee in head and neck cancer prevention.”