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Coffee to Prevent Disease?

Good news for Starbucks stock and morning coffee drinkers. A new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research found that coffee has no effect on cancer risk and in a few cancers; it may actually reduce the risk.  

Pancreatic and Kidney were the 2 most studied cancers but the study also revealed no risk of breast, ovarian, prostate and stomach cancer.

How much coffee was used to determine this information? Six cups a day was the determining factor so even heavy coffee drinkers can take advantage of their java fix.

As for coffee as a cancer protector, a review of 13 studies on caffeine and cancer stated that coffee can be protective against endometrial and liver cancers.

According to the American Journal of clinical Nutrition, habitual intake of caffeinated beverages provided protection against the risk of heart disease mortality among elderly participants in a reported study. 

As for Strokes, coffee is also on the positive side. Among other findings, coffee was not associated with either raised or lowered stroke risk in the subgroups of women with high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol.

One detail found in this study is that a larger percentage of women who drink coffee also smoke and caffeine can’t counter protect against the effects of smoking.

These studies looked a non-pregnant population so the results do not apply to pregnant women.  However, most experts agree that caffeine isn’t even harmful to pregnant mothers.  According to a Registered Dietitian who wrote a book last year on healthy pregnancies, caffeine hasn’t been show to harm infants.  A caveat to this is that caffeine can act as stimulant so be careful if you don’t want this effect.

Shari Portnoy, MPH, RD, LD/N is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. She holds degrees in both Nutrition and Public Health and has completed the U.S. Food Laws course at the Michigan State University Institute of Food Laws. She has been a featured speaker at the American Culinary Federation National Convention and a board member of the American Dietetic Association.

Reference Source 167
August 30, 2010


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