Coffee keeps endometrial cancer at bay

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A study has found that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day could reduce the risk of endometrial cancer by almost a fifth, reports Medical News Today.

In this latest study, Dr Melissa Merritt, of Imperial College London and colleagues set out to investigate how dietary factors affect the risk of endometrial cancer. The team analyzed 1,303 women with endometrial cancer who were a part of the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study. The women completed dietary questionnaires, and the researchers assessed the link between 84 foods and nutrients consumed and the risk of endometrial cancer.

From this, the team identified nine foods and nutrients that could be associated with risk of endometrial cancer: total fat, monounsaturated fat, phosphorus, carbohydrates, yogurt, butter, potatoes, cheese and coffee. Next, the researchers analysed 1,531 women with endometrial cancer who were a part of the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) or Nurses' Health Study II (NHSII). These women also completed dietary questionnaires.

To validate their findings from the EPIC cohort, the team assessed the association between consumption of the nine foods and nutrients and risk of endometrial cancer in the NHS/NHSII cohorts.

The researchers found that drinking three cups of coffee a day reduced endometrial cancer risk by 19% among women in the EPIC study, compared with women who drank less than one cup of coffee a day. Among women in the NHS/NHSII cohorts, drinking four cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of endometrial cancer by 18%, compared with those who never drank coffee.

In the EPIC study, the team linked total fat, monounsaturated fat and phosphorus intake with reduced risk of endometrial cancer, while butter and carbohydrates were associated with increased risk. These findings are deemed insignificant, however, as the researchers were unable to validate them in the NHS/NHSII cohorts.

The team says past research has suggested a link between higher coffee intake and lower risk of endometrial cancer, and that their study – funded by the National Institutes of Health – provides further evidence for this association.

Full Medical News Today report Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention abstract

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