Another study has emerged confirming the beneficial impact of coffee on potential cancer development. The study published in the American Cancer Society demonstrated the beneficial impact of coffee on endometrial cancer, a condition that begins in the lining of the uterus. Approximately 54,870 women will be diagnosed with endometrial cancer or uterine sarcomas this year, and 10,170 will die from the conditions. More than 600,000 U.S. women are survivors of endometrial cancer.
The research team investigated 1,303 women with endometrial cancer, part of the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study. The women completed dietary questionnaires, and the researchers assessed the link between 84 foods and nutrients consumed and the risk of endometrial cancer. In addition 1,531 women with endometrial cancer who were a part of the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) or Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII) underwent the same process.
The researchers analyzed nine food and nutrients that could be associated with risk of endometrial cancer: total fat, monounsaturated fat, phosphorus, carbohydrates, yogurt, butter, potatoes, cheese and coffee.
The study findings determined that drinking three cups of coffee a day reduced endometrial cancer risk by 19% among women in the EPIC study, compared with women who drank less than one cup of coffee a day. Among women in the NHS/NHSII cohorts, drinking four cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of endometrial cancer by 18%, compared with those who never drank coffee.
“We used a ‘nutrient-wide association study,’ a new approach to systematically evaluate the association of dietary factors with endometrial cancer risk,” said Melissa A. Merritt, PhD, a research fellow in cancer epidemiology at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom. “This approach was inspired by genome-wide association studies that look at genetic risk factors for cancer, but in our case we investigated 84 foods and nutrients in place of genes as risk factors for endometrial cancer.
“We confirmed observations from previous studies that having a high versus low intake of coffee was associated with a reduced risk for endometrial cancer, and for most other dietary factors there was no association with endometrial cancer risk,” Merritt added.
“Coffee intake is worth investigating further to see if coffee can be used for the prevention of endometrial cancer. However, before clinical recommendations can be made, further studies are needed to evaluate this question in other studies and to try to isolate the components of coffee that may be responsible for any influence on endometrial cancer,” Merritt said.