A recent study found that women who drank more than four cups of coffee a day had a 22% lower risk of developing endometrial cancer than non-coffee drinks.
Endometrial is cancer of the lining of the uterus. This cancer is the most common gynecological cancer. Other gynecological cancers include cervical cancer and ovarian cancer.
This research has yet to be published in any journal. It was a comprehensive review of 19 previous studies, which had a total of 40,000 female subjects, 12,000 of whom had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer.
While drinking more than four cups of coffee a day was associated with the greatest benefit, drinking two to three cups was also associated with a reduced risk of the cancer.
The more important finding was that the protective benefits were only seen in women that were considered overweight or obese which was determined by their BMIs. Researchers caution that it is important to keep in mind that overweight and obese women are more likely to develop the disease in the first place.
Women with a normal weight BMI didn’t benefit from drinking coffee.
Not all of the studies asked the women to specify whether they drank caffeinated coffee or decaf, but when the researchers looked at those that did, they found that only caffeinated coffee was associated with a statistically significant decrease in risk.
Although this study didn’t specifically look at the mechanism that might explain the association, researchers believe that certain compounds in coffee may decrease levels of estrogen and insulin. Both estrogen and insulin have been shown to play a role in the development of endometrial cancer.
The study also observed how tea intake may affect endometrial cancer risk. However researchers did not find an association for tea.
More research is necessary in order to determine the relationship between coffee and cancer.