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Coffee may raise colon cancer risk in men?

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Tuesday June 17, 2014 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new Japanese study in Journal of Epidemiology suggests that drinking too much coffee may increase risk of colon cancer in men, but not in women and high coffee consumption was linked with high risk of colon cancer in men.

The study analyzed data from  a large-scale prospective cohort study - the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk and found a positive association between coffee consumption and risk of colon cancer in men.  

Specifically, compared with those who drank less than 1 cup of coffee per day, men used 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day were 26% more likely to develop colon cancer and those drinking more than 4 cups of coffee per day were at 79% increased risk for colon cancer.

However, coffee drinking was associated neither with risk of colon cancer in women nor with risk of rectal cancer in men and women.

The study concluded "This large-scale population-based cohort study showed that coffee consumption increases the risk of colon cancer among Japanese men."

It should be noted that this study was no trial and it could not prove that the increased risk among coffee drinkers was increased by coffee although the possibility could not be excluded either.

Yamada H, Kawado M, Aoyama N, Hashimoto S, Suzuki K, Wakai K, Suzuki S, Watanabe Y, Tamakoshi A.  Coffee Consumption and Risk of Colorectal Cancer: The Japan Collaborative Cohort Study.  J Epidemiol. 2014 May 24.

Another study published in 2012 in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds an inverse association between coffee drinking and risk of colon cancer.

The study shows that men and women drinking six or more cups of coffee per day were 38% less likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer.

That study is based on data from The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study of 489,706 men and women who were followed for an average of 10.5 years.

Sinha R, Cross AJ, Daniel CR, Graubard BI, Wu JW, Hollenbeck AR, Gunter MJ, Park Y, Freedman ND.  Caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea intakes and risk of colorectal cancer in a large prospective study.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;96(2):374-81. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.031328.

Summary:  It seems uncertain whether drinking coffee could reduce or increase risk of colon cancer.  One thing for sure is that eating a lot of dietary fiber can reduce the risk of colon cancer.   One should eat at least 35 grams of dietary fiber a day to prevent colon cancer.  Most Americans do not eat that much of dietary fiber through their diets.  But dietary fiber supplements can be purchased over the internet and at local health stores.  (David Liu, PHD)

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