Could Your Morning Coffee Be a Lifesaver? New Study Links Coffee to Lower Bowel Cancer Recurrence

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.01 - 2024 8:53 AM CET

A new study suggests that coffee may well reduce the likelihood of developing bowel cancer.

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Who would have thought that your morning cup of joe might be more than just a wake-up call?

According to recent research funded by the World Cancer Research Fund, individuals who've had bowel cancer and indulge in more than four cups of coffee a day could be giving themselves a fighting chance against the disease's recurrence.

The International Journal of Cancer published a study shedding light on the correlation between high coffee consumption and the lowered risk of bowel cancer returning.

In an analysis involving 1,700 participants from the Netherlands, all past the median age of 66 and previously treated for colorectal cancer, findings revealed those who sipped on more than four cups of coffee daily had a 32% lower risk of the cancer making an unwelcome comeback compared to those who consumed less than two cups.

A Sip Towards Survival

This observational study not only suggests that coffee lovers might enjoy a reduced likelihood of cancer recurrence but also a chance at improved survival rates post-diagnosis.

The magic number seems to hover around three to five cups a day, with the lowest all-cause mortality observed at approximately four cups.

Under the guidance of Prof. Ellen Kampman from Wageningen University and Research, the team embarks on further research to determine whether the observed benefits are causative or merely associative.

Yet, the dose-dependent nature of coffee's effects provides a glimmer of hope for its potential as a preventive measure. Abisola Oyelere, taking the lead on this study for her PhD, highlights the strong association found between coffee consumption and a reduced rate of bowel cancer recurrence and mortality.

Coffee's Compound Interests

The journey to understanding coffee's role in cancer prevention and treatment is complex. Compounds in coffee might play a role in reducing oxidative stress, influencing the gut microbiome, and even improving metabolic and liver health, potentially curbing the spread of cancer.

With support from the World Cancer Research Fund, the research team aims to demystify the active ingredients in coffee that contribute to these positive outcomes.

Caution Before the Coffee

While the findings paint a hopeful picture, Dr. Panagiota Mitrou from the World Cancer Research Fund advises caution. Before patients start altering their diets to include more coffee, more conclusive evidence is necessary.

This study could, however, pave the way for future clinical studies and influence dietary guidelines, potentially positioning coffee as an ally in the fight against bowel cancer.

It's not just about drinking more coffee; it's about understanding how lifestyle and dietary choices can influence cancer outcomes. This research adds another layer to the ongoing dialogue about cancer prevention and survival, reinforcing the need for evidence-based recommendations for those navigating life after a cancer diagnosis.

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