A new study discovered that colon cancer patients who enjoy a few cups of coffee a day survive their cancer better and are less likely to die early than non-coffee drinkers.
This study was the latest in a series of studies showing the benefits of coffee, which can lower the risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s and cancer. This is the first one that demonstrates coffee may help patients recover better and should come as welcome news to colon cancer patients who worry if they can safely continue to enjoy coffee.
The study was conducted on slightly less than 1,000 patients. Researchers found that those who drank coffee regularly had a better disease-free survival, which means that they had a lower rate of having their cancer recur or of dying.
The patients that participated in the study filled out daily diaries with details of what they eat and how much they exercise. All of the participants were diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer, which has spread to nearby lymph nodes but hasn’t spread to the rest of the body yet. All of the participants underwent surgery and chemotherapy.
Those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day were 42% less likely to have their cancer come back than non-coffee drinkers. They were additionally 33% less likely to die of their cancer or of anything else during the study.
Two or three cups of coffee a day had a somewhat slighter benefit.
Other caffeinated drinks such as soda weren’t found to have the same effect.
The study also found that patients who consumed two or more sugar sweetened beverages a day have a poorer outcome. Tea and decaffeinated coffee did not have the same benefit, although it was difficult to measure as not many people drink tea or decaf exclusively.
Advisers to the U.S. Government assert that new dietary proposals should mention the benefits of coffee, which include protection against diabetes, Parkinson’s and liver cancer.