The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the findings of a study on coffee and colon cancer online on May 7, 2010. The result was good news. Coffee is NOT linked to colon cancer so go ahead and drink up.
“Cutting down or removing sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet was viewed as a major target for preventing major cancers,” noted Dr. Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina, who was not involved in the study.
Harvard researchers used data from several previous studies and followed some 700,000 people for up to 20 years after they had reported their dietary habits. Fewer than one in a hundred developed colon cancer, and neither coffee nor soft drinks influenced that rate appreciably.
“Drinking coffee, even more than six cups a day, was not associated with risk of colon cancer,” said Dr. Xuehong Zhang of the Harvard School of Public Health, who worked on the study. The findings, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, square with earlier research for coffee.
For the heaviest tea drinkers, who drank at least four cups a day, the risk of developing colon cancer rose by 28 percent, on average. However, that link could be due to chance, or factors that the researchers didn’t measure –whether or not people put sugar and milk in their tea, or had pastries with it, for example.
“The relationship between tea and colon cancer is unclear for the time being,” said Zhang.