Caffeinated Coffee Can Lower Risk of Oral Cancer

It’s another win for coffee lovers.

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A new study conducted by the American Cancer Society provides more evidence that drinking coffee can provide more health benefits than that extra energy kick in the morning.

It turns out that not only can drinking coffee reduce risk of depression and type 2 diabetes, but new research shows it can also lower the risk of oral cancer by as much as 49 percent.

The study, which involved 968,432 men and women over the course of 26 years, examined the relationship between caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea intake with deadly oral cancer. At the end of the study, 868 deaths occurred from oral cancer. Approximately 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer per year, according to Oral Cancer Foundation.

Researchers found an inverse association between caffeinated coffee intake and oral cancer mortality. In particular, they noted that those who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee a day reduced their chances of dying from oral cancer by about half, compared with those who never drank coffee or had the occasional cup of joe.

Not big on caffeine? Researchers also noted a slight benefit to drinking at least two decaffeinated cups of coffee. But bad news for tea drinkers: There was no association found between tea and risk of oral cancer.

The researchers note that more research must be conducted to determine what biological mechanisms are at work when it comes to drinking coffee. They add that the drink contains a wealth of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other active compounds that may play a major role in cancer prevention.

The full study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology