Drinking coffee is a morning ritual for millions of American adults. Now, a new study shows that ritual can be beneficial for people dealing with a colon cancer diagnosis.
The study, which involved roughly 1,000 colon cancer patients, was carried out by researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Researchers discovered that colon cancer patients who drank an excessive amount of coffee–or four or more cups per day–reduced their chances of having their cancer return once it was in remission.
Even more remarkable: people who drank four or more cups of coffee each day significantly reduced their risk of dying from any other health problem.
“These patients were 42 percent less likely to have their cancer return than non-coffee drinkers, and were 33 percent less likely to die from cancer or any other cause,” the researchers noted in their report, which was recently published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The study also revealed that drinking less than four cups of coffee each day had its benefit, though the benefit was “more modest”. Researchers found there was little benefit to drinking just one cup of coffee each day.
Researchers believe it’s the caffeine in coffee that makes the difference in cancer recurrence–meaning there’s no benefit in drinking decaffeinated coffee.
In any case, it’s an important finding, says Charles Fuchs, a Boston-based cancer expert and the report’s lead author. “If you are a coffee drinker and are being treated for colon cancer, don’t stop,” Fuchs said.
“But if you’re not a coffee drinker and wondering whether to start, you should first discuss it with your physician.”