Previous studies have boasted the benefits of drinking coffee, and some findings suggest that regular consumption of the caffeinated beverage could reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, boost liver health, reduce skin cancer risk, and prevent eye deterioration, along with a long list of other positives.
Now, new findings published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research suggest that it could also protect against breast cancer.
Scientists have discovered that coffee can inhibit the growth of tumors, reducing the risk of recurrence in women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with the drug tamoxifen.
The study is based on the follow-up results that researchers obtained two years ago, and unlike previous findings, scientists combined information about the patients’ lifestyles and clinical data from 1,090 breast cancer patients with studies on breast cancer cells.
From there, they examined two substances that occur in coffee that’s drunk in Sweden, including caffeine and caffeic acid. Researchers found that these components actually inhibited the growth of tumors in studying the effects.
“The breast cancer cells reacted to these substances, especially caffeine, with reduced cell division and increased cell death, especially in combination with tamoxifen,” researchers Ann Rosendahl and Helena Jernstrom noted, in a news release. “This shows that these substances have an effect on the breast cancer cells and turn off signaling pathways that the cancer cells require to grow.”
Furthermore, they found that both in breast cancer patients and at the cell level, coffee appears to reinforce the effect of treatment with tamoxifen. Yet among 500 women treated with tamoxifen, those who had drunk at least two cups of coffee a day dealt with only half the risk of recurrence of those who drank less coffee or none at all.
However, the scientists are quick to note that it’s still important to take prescribed medications.
“They are incredibly important but if you like coffee and are also taking tamoxifen, there is no reason to stop drinking it,” write the researchers. “Just two cups a day is sufficient to make a difference.”
Of course, more studies will also be needed in order to confirm a clear connection to the evidence of the study results.
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