Your daily coffee doesn't increase your risk of cancer

Must See 18/07/2019

If you needed any extra encouragement to indulge in that Flat White this morning, a new study has shown it's not going to do you any fatal harm. 

The study of more than 300,000 people was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology this week, which showed drinking coffee every day neither reduced nor increased a person's risk of developing any cancer.

We know that coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and there continue to be mixed messages about the role it plays in disease,

says senior author Associate Professor Stuart MacGregor. 

"We found there was no real relationship between how many cups of coffee a person had a day and if they developed any particular cancers.

"The study also ruled out a link between coffee intake and dying from the disease."

Coffee contains a complex mixture of bioactive ingredients, including substances such as caffeine and kahweol, which have been shown to display anti-tumour effects in animal studies.

QIMR Berghofer lead researcher, Jue-Sheng Ong, says the study looked at some common individual cancers such as breast, ovarian, lung and prostate cancers and found drinking coffee did not increase or decrease their incidence.

Associate Professor MacGregor says the study had implications for public health messaging around the world.

"The health benefits of coffee have been argued for a long time, but this research shows simply changing your coffee consumption isn't an effective way of protecting yourself from cancer," he says.

It backs up research from the US Food and Drug Administration last year, which indicated consuming coffee posed no significant risk of cancer.

According to Australian and New Zealand food standards, there is no recognised health-based guidance value, such as an Acceptable Daily Intake, for caffeine.

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