Today is National Coffee Day, the story goes that coffee beans were originally discovered centuries ago in Ethiopia. A goat farmer realised the energising effects of these magical beans after his goats consumed the coffee beans from a coffee plant. Today coffee is a big business and it is estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day across the world.
With so much coffee on the go it's important to consider some of the effects this caffeinated drink can have on the body. In recent years there has been a number of reviews assessing old and new theories about the benefits and potential negative effects of coffee consumption. Let's take a look at a few interesting studies that may shed some light..
In the past, certain observational studies linked coffee consumption to an increased risk for developing gastric cancers. However we all know correlation does not necessarily equal causation. In March 2015 the International Journal of Cancer published a study that examined relative risk associated with caffeinated and decaffeinated tea and coffee intake in over 470,000 subjects over 11.5 years. They concluded that consumption of “total, caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee was not associated with an overall gastric cancer risk.”
Another meta analysis from the Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition published earlier this year, reviewed 22 studies (majority being case-controlled and dose-dependent) found that not only was there an increased risk but there may even be a reduced risk for gastric cancer. The paradigm is shifting away from coffee increasing risks for causing gastric cancer.
Further, when studied in many other cancers, coffee consumption has be found to sometimes reduce risk of causing cancers. For example, higher caffeinated coffee intake was associated with a lower risk for postmenopausal breast cancer in European women (it is worth noting that decaffeinated coffee did not seem to significantly alter risk). Similarly, endometrial cancer risk was reduced by 5-7% for every cup of coffee consumed!
With all this in mind we say go ahead- grab that cup of Joe!
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