New research indicates that the caffeine in coffee decreases the likelihood that postmenopausal women will develop breast cancer. Previous research has established that the caffeine in coffee fends off type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, gallstones, Parkinson’s disease, and liver cancer and may also offer protection against skin cancer.
A study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research examined nearly 6,000 postmenopausal Swedish women aged 50 to 74. The conclusion: Heavy coffee drinkers had a significantly lower risk of developing estrogen receptor-negative (ER-negative) breast cancer. Compared with women who drank less than one cup of coffee a day, those who consumed more than five cups were almost 60 percent less likely to develop the cancer. (One cup of coffee was defined as six ounces.)
The reduction in breast cancer risk has now been added to the long list of caffeine’s amazing health benefits. Just a few of these include:
- Reduced risk of getting type 2 diabetes: Proven by over 15 published studies. One large study found that people who drank four to six cups of coffee a day were nearly 30 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with those who drank two cups or fewer. Furthermore, consuming more than six cups each day reduced the risk by 35 per cent. In addition, caffeine, as a potent antioxidant, is believed to reduce inflammation and improve how the body uses insulin.
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke: A study over over 40,000 women, aged 55 to 69, found that drinking one to six cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of dying from heart disease. Coffee may also shield women from stroke. A 10-year study published this year of nearly 35,000 women found that those who drank one or more cups of coffee a day – versus less than one – were significantly less likely to suffer a stroke.
- Reduced risk of liver cancer: The caffeine in coffee seems to cut the risk liver cancer. Many studies have found that regular coffee drinking helps to protect people with and without a history of cirrhosis from liver cancer. The more coffee consumed each day, the lower the risk.
- Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease: For decades, it has been well established that regular caffeine consumption offers dramatic protection from Parkinson’s disease. Harvard University researchers found that men who consumed the most caffeine and women who who drank one to three cups of coffee a day had 50 percent reduction in the risk of contracting Parkinson’s disease.
- Reduced risk of and reversal of senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: Caffeine’s potential protective effect against dementia and Alzheimer’s diseasehas been recognized by a raft of new studies over the past decade. Most recently, Swedish and Finnish researchers followed more than 1,400 men and women for 21 years and found that those who drank coffee during midlife – compared with those who didn’t – were less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life. The lowest risk was found in people who consumed the caffeine contained in three to five cups of coffee a day.