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Coffee may help people with cancer, but not healthy people?


By David Liu PHD

Wednesday July 18, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- It's believed that drinking coffee can do many good things for coffee drinkers including the prevention of liver disease.  But a new study suggests that at least one ingredient in coffee may serve as a double-edged sword, increasing cancer risk in healthy people and help kill cancer cells in cancer patients.  It's kind of like radiation.

The study led by E. Burgos-Moron and colleagues and published in the July 13, 2012 issue of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that at the level of 0.5 to 5 mM, chlorogenic acid induces DNA damage in both normal and cancerous cells.  DNA damage can turn normal cells into cancerous cells.

It's found that chlorogenic acid, which is a plant polyphenol found in coffee and has antioxidant properties, is involved in the production of hydrogen peroxide as catalase pre-treatment reduced the cytotoxic activity of chlorogenic acid.

The researchers also found lung cancer cells were more sensitive to the effect of chlorogenic acid than normal cells, which explains suggestions that coffee ingredient chlorogenic acid may induce selective killing of cancer cells.