Coffee is a multi-billion dollar industry. Coffee is a morning staple in most households. Some cannot imagine starting a day without it. New research shows that those who drink 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day reduce their risk for oral cancer by nearly half from those who do not drink coffee! This could potentially be a very significant finding as oral cancers are quite common and quite deadly.
Coffee And Oral Cancer Research Link
The research team found evidence that coffee intake and oral cancer risks are closely associated. In the study, they observed that participants who drank more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day had an almost 50% reduced risk of death from oral cancer compared with those who never or only on occasion drank coffee.
Previous studies have suggested that coffee drinking is associated with lower risk of certain cancers, not necessarily oral cancer. Researchers from the American Cancer Society decided to see if coffee consumption had any effect on oral cancer. They investigated the effects of some of our favorite morning drinks including tea, caffeinated coffee, and decaffeinated coffee. The research concluded that caffeinated coffee significantly lowered the risk of these types of cancers. The findings also suggested that the drink also prevented the growth and progression of the oral cancer.
The study followed almost 1 million participants over a 26 year period. All were cancer free at the start of the study. 868 participants died from oral cancer over that time span. Those participants who had more than 4 cups of caffeinated coffee per day had an almost 50% reduced risk of death from oral cancer. There was a slight marginal effect from consuming decaffeinated coffee and zero effect found in tea drinkers.
Most head and neck cancers are linked to alcohol consumption and to smoking tobacco. Interestingly, the protective effect of coffee was not reduced in drinkers and smokers. Nor, was the effect boosted by consumption of fruits and vegetables, also shown to protect against head and neck cancers.
What Is Causing This?
It is believed that coffee contains a variety of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other biological active compounds (cafestol and kahweol, have anti-cancer properties) that may help to protect and slow the progression of cancers. It is important to note more research will be needed, but an association seems to be present. This could bode well into the future for development of new treatments to ward off not only oral cancer but other cancers as well.