Drinking just a couple cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.
Researchers from the University of Southern California's Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center tracked the coffee consumption of nearly 8,500 people in Israel, including about 5,000 who had colorectal cancer and 3,500 who did not.
The results showed coffee drinkers were about a third less likely than non-drinkers to have colorectal cancer, according the LiveScience
Website.The more coffee people drank, the lower their risk of developing the disease.
Lead researcher Stephanie Stenzel, who presented the findings at the meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, said the study adds to the growing body of research that suggests compounds in coffee have strong anti-cancer properties.
"I think, certainly, the level of evidence is building towards that," she said, noting the USC study accounted for other factors that might affect the risk of colorectal cancer, such as age, gender, the amount of vegetables people consumed, and whether they took a daily aspirin
, which has been linked to a lower colon cancer risks.
Scientists suspect drinking coffee may lower colorectal-cancer risk by speeding up the passage of food through the colon, providing less time for cancer-causing agents to be absorbed. It's also possible that compounds in coffee affect the composition of microbes in the gut or have direct cancer-preventing properties.
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