Drinking a Few Cups of Coffee a Day Lowers Cancer Risk in Women. So Should You Fill Up On Caffeine Free or Full Strength?

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A  new study from the Harvard School of Public Health, which was backed by the National Institutes of Health, says drinking a few cups of coffee a day lowers the rate of endometrial cancer in women.  Drinking coffee has also been linked to a lower rate of diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

The researchers at Harvard analyzed data on 67,470 women between the ages of 34 and 59 who were followed for about 26 years. Compared to women who drank little or no coffee, those who averaged four or more cups per day had a 25% lower risk of developing endometrial cancer, and those who drank two or three cups per day had a 7% lower risk.

If you can't handle the caffeine don't worry!  The study did not find that caffeine was necessary for the health benefit.  Women who drank 2 cups of decaffeinated coffee still had a 22% reduction in endometrial cancer.  Although a direct cause and effect relationship has not been established between coffee and cancer fighting, the best guess is that coffee acts as an antioxidant.  Interestingly, the same association was not found from drinking tea as it seems that coffee has even more antioxidants than green tea. 

Study co-author Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health who led the study says, "This study does not prove cause and effect, but this observation has been suggested previously, and there's strong reason now to believe that this association is real."

The most effective way for women to detect -- if not prevent -- endometrial cancer is to look out for irregular menstrual bleeding and consult a doctor if they notice anything unusual, says Steven R. Goldstein, M.D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University Langone Medical Center, in New York City.

One note of caution, be sure to limit the amount of sugar and milk in your coffee as you will increase your calorie intake and increase your cholesterol levels.  Use stevia instead to sweeten your coffee.

Sources: FOX News, USA Today, CNN

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