Can Coffee Really Lower Cancer Risk?
I know it sounds like something that is too good to be true. This news is exciting, especially if you are one of the millions of Americans who wake up every day to one or more cups of coffee. Early research showed that coffee might have increased the risk of cancer, so what changed?
According to the American Cancer Society, the scale and design of the studies have been the main factors in changing these conclusions. The ACS also notes that these studies are based on black coffee. When a news article talks about the benefits of 4 cups of coffee a day, they don’t mean coffee loaded with cream or sugar. Those coffee drinks with added fat and calories may increase weight and cause an increase in risk for certain types of cancer.
What’s In Coffee That Makes It So Great?
Now that we have established that coffee can help to lower the risk of cancer, what exactly is in coffee that makes it a good cancer fighter?
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, several things in coffee make it a likely cancer fighter.
Chlorogenic Acid: An antioxidant and major phenol in coffee
Quinic Acid: A phytochemical in coffee that gives it its acidic taste
Cafestol: Only found in unfiltered coffee like French press or boiled coffee
Kahweol: Only found in unfiltered coffee like French press or boiled coffee
Caffeine: Stimulates the central nervous system
N-Methylpyridinium (NMB): An antioxidant in coffee that is created through the roasting process
Riboflavin: Vitamin B2
Antioxidants, phytochemicals, phenols, and vitamins all play an important role in the body. While the research is still out on exactly how these compounds work within the human system, it is known that they can help reduce the risks of many diseases and cancers.