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Coffee helps fight mouth cancer

coffee and oral cancer

Coffee in moderation is good

Do you love your cuppa coffee? Well good news for you: you have less chances of developing oral and pharynx cancers.

A novel study shows benefit of having coffee, highlighting that it helps fight against mouth cancer. Some of the 1,000 chemicals present in coffee – including antioxidants – can offer protection against many types of cancer, a new research has said.

Researchers at University of Utah in Salt Lake City, U.5., found that drinking four cups of coffee a day may help protect against oral cancer. Oral cancer is mainly caused due to smoking and alcohol-intake and its cases are increasing among youngsters and middle aged men.

The researchers conducted an analysis of the data to find out the relation between coffee consumption and cancer. They analyzed the data out of the nine case-control studies of head and neck cancers. The data included 5,139 cancer patients and 9,028 healthy people. The researchers analyzed their smoking, dietary and alcohol habits.

The study has revealed that coffee helps to protect against the oral cancer but should be taken in limited amounts as it could affect the heart rate and blood pressure.

The researchers found that the regular coffee drinking (4 cups of coffee a day) decreased the risk of developing mouth and throat cancer by 40 percent than those who did not drink coffee. The antioxidants present in coffee have this protective effect.

 “We had a very large sample size, and since we combined data across many studies, we had more statistical power to detect associations between cancer and coffee,” Mia Hashibe, the study’s lead lead researcher and an assistant professor from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, was quoted as saying.

Around 5,500 Britons are diagnosed each year with cancer of the lips, tongue, tonsils, gum and other parts of the mouth, while 1,800 of them die from the disease.

Studies on the links between coffee and cancer have produced confusing and sometimes contradictory results. These results confuse because coffee drinking could be a marker for some other lifestyle factors that increase cancer risk, such as smoking and alcohol.

The research follows a similar study by Japanese scientists who tracked patients drinking habits for 13 years and found that those downing at least one cup a day were much less likely to get tumours than those who hardly ever drank coffee.

Mia Hashibe, said: “Since coffee is so widely used and there is a relatively high incidence and low survival rate of these forms of cancers, our results have important public health implications that need to be further addressed.

The researchers concluded that more studies were required before we can promote coffee as a means of protecting ourselves from cancer. However, they added that coffee contains more than a thousand chemicals apart from caffeine and antioxidants that can offer protection not only against oral cancer but also cancers of the pancreas, colon, brain, liver and gullet (throat). These are compounds like cafestol and kahweal, which may be a defence against the carcinogens that normally damage our genes.

Dr Madan’s Final Comments: Though this study shows that coffee protects against mouth cancer, it does not mean that you go overboard and justify excessive coffee drinking. Coffee should be had in moderation because too much coffee can cause increase in blood pressure and heart rate.

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