There is some more good news for coffee addicts. Close on the heels of reports that coffee drinkers are less prone to cancer comes a report that researchers in the United States have found that drinking coffee actually lowers the risk of cancer in the head and neck region.
The study, which compared regular coffee drinkers with non-drinkers found that there was a 39 percent reduction in the risk of oral cavity and pharynx cancers in those who liked a steaming cup of coffee a couple of times a day.
Researchers used data from a pooled analysis of nine different studies conducted across several parts of the world and collated by the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium.
The INHANCE Consortium was established in 2004, based on the collaboration of research groups leading large molecular epidemiology studies of head & neck cancer that are on-going or have been recently completed. When taken collectively, questionnaire data on over 14,000 cases & 16,000 controls, and biological samples from a majority of the study population are available for research.
Researchers found that the link is more reliable in those who are regular coffee drinkers and consume more than four cups of coffee a day, says the study published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention -an online journal of the American Association of Cancer Research.
The published article quotes leader researcher Mia Hashibe, assistant professor in the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, as saying that that since coffee is a widely used drink and there is a relatively high incidence and low survival rate of these cancer forms, the latest research results have critical health implications that need to be addressed further.
The reason this research becomes unique is the fact that the results are based on a very large sample size that has combined data from several studies across a larger cross-section of people from across the world. However, Hashibe was quick to point out that more research is required to characterize the importance of timing and duration of exposure and possible action mechanism.
Recent studies have indicated a link between coffee and anti-cancer ingredients with researchers at Harvard University suggesting a strong inverse association between coffee consumption and the risk of prostate cancer with those who drank coffee obviously at a 60 percent lower risk.