Monthly Archives: June 2010

Coffee May Decrease Risk of Neck and Head Cancers

A new study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has shown that coffee drinkers have another reason to celebrate!  Coffee may decrease the risk of neck and head cancers.

In this study, scientists looked at the results of nine previous cancer/caffeine studies (using coffee and tea) to come up with their findings.  Results show that those who drink a lot of joe have a lower rate of head and neck cancer.  In each of the pooled studies the participants with cancer were compared to healthy persons in the general populations and hospitalized persons who did not have cancer.  Overall the rate of cancer was 12% lower in people who drank coffee as compared to their no-joe counterparts.  This number comes after taking into account certain other factors such as cigarette smoking.

The more you drink, the better!  The study found that those who consumed more than four cups a day had their risk of cancer reduced by more than a third.

For cancer of the voice box, or larynx, coffee didn’t seem to play a role; nor did tea or decaffeinated coffee for any type of head and neck cancer.

The data does not conclusively prove that coffee itself protects against cancer. There could be other factors associated with coffee drinking that explain the lower cancer risk, or cancer sufferers might have decreased their coffee intake for some reason.  “Besides caffeine, coffee contains more than a thousand chemicals,” the researchers reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, adding that the compounds cafestol and kahweol may be protective against carcinogens that would normally damage our genes.

The odds of getting this type of cancer are slim.   In the U.S., only about 1 in 10,000 develops the disease every year.

SOURCE: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, June 22, 2010

Study Finds Frequent Coffee Users My Not Get a Morning Wakeup

We all need our coffee to get going in the morning.  We look forward to our little cup of caffeinated heaven and so does everyone else who has to be around us!  But a new study suggests that we may not be getting a pick me up from our morning cup of joe, but rather we are feeling better from coming out of caffeine withdrawal.

A study was performed at Bristol University in the UK comparing coffee drinkers to non-coffee drinkers when it comes to alertness.  Those of us addicted to caffeine are no more alert than non-coffee drinkers, according to the study.Researchers said that the energy boost that habitual coffee drinkers feel after their morning cup of joe comes from the body’s return to a normal state after a night of caffeine withdrawal. Those who consume very little caffeine or none at all will reach the same level of alertness without any extra help.

One scientist said “Someone who consumes caffeine regularly when they’re at work but not at weekends runs the risk of feeling a bit rubbish by Sunday. It’s better to stick with it or keep off it altogether.”  I’m all for that!  I shall stick with my morning cup of joe as per the scientist’s suggestion!

In the study, researchers had 379 people restrain from caffeine for 16 hours. Half were classified as moderate to heavy caffeine consumers, and the other half had little or none. Later on, each was given either a dose of caffeine or a placebo and were asked to rate their alertness and whether they had a headache.

Caffeine drinkers who received the placebo reported headaches and sluggishness. Caffeine drinkers given coffee reported levels of alertness equal to non-coffee drinkers given the placebo.