Women who drank at least four cups of coffee daily had a 25% lower risk of endometrial cancer as compared with women who consumed less, data from a large prospective cohort study showed.

The apparent benefit was limited to regular coffee, as consumption of decaffeinated coffee was associated with only a trend toward an inverse relationship with endometrial cancer risk, as reported online in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.  Tea consumption was not associated with the risk of endometrial cancer in this study.

"Our findings provide prospective evidence with the potential beneficial role of four or more cups of coffee per day against endometrial cancer risk," Youjin Je, MS, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and co-authors wrote.   "However, recommendations about high coffee consumption should be made with caution. Because our population is relatively health conscious and thus may tend not to add substantial sugar and cream, the results of risk reduction with four cups of coffee per day may not be generalizable to coffee drinkers who typically add sugar or cream to coffee."

In theory, coffee consumption might influence endometrial cancer risk via caffeine's effects on the female hormonal milieu. Studies have shown that coffee or caffeine intake influenced levels of sex hormone binding globulin, free estradiol, C-peptide, and adiponectin, the authors wrote in their introduction.

Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated an inverse association between coffee consumption and endometrial cancer risk, but most of the data was collected retrospectively. Moreover, few studies attempted to control for caffeine intake or coffee components that might influence endometrial cancer risk.

The prospective Nurses' Health Study (NHS) provided a dataset with characteristics that could address limitations of previous investigations of coffee consumption and endometrial cancer, the authors continued. Initiated in 1976, the NHS accumulated data on 121,700 female nurses who were ages 30 to 55 at enrollment.

Je and colleagues analyzed data on a subgroup of 67,470 Nurses' Health Study (NHS) participants who completed an initial food frequency questionnaire in 1980 and six follow-up questionnaires until 2002. In a complicated analysis, the inverse association no longer remained significant for other variables except for the comparison of four or more cups of coffee daily versus less than one cup daily.

Analysis of the type of coffee consumed showed that women who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily had higher reduction in relative risk than women who drank less than one cup daily. Increasing consumption of decaffeinated coffee was associated with a nonsignificant reduction in the relative risk of endometrial cancer.

"Unmeasured factors associated with coffee drinking habit may also have influenced our results. However, the factors are more likely to be related to unhealthy lifestyles rather than healthy lifestyles, which make the observed association more inverse after adjusting for the factors."

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Primary source: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention



Good news for coffee lovers like myself. However, its really confusing as coffee is generally seen as bad for one's health, then this kind of research shows some positive benefits.

At least there is a good side effect in drinking coffee.I am a coffee addict and I get frustrated everytime I hear bad results from drinking coffee.

I quite like the idea of people being told that drinking too much coffee can lead to complications with a person's heart, but not drinking enough coffee can mean that you end up with cancer. I know it's not as black and white as that but I enjoy the irony of it I suppose.

It's exiting to see more evidence for the benefits of caffeine for women. I'm convinced caffeine is a great tool for increased productivity, and any health benefits are an added bonus!

What great news that is! And don't forget to do a nice turn by putting those spent coffee grounds into your garden.

I had no idea that decaffeinated coffee does nothing to the reduction of possibility in getting endometrial cancer. I heard the chemical process of taking out the caffeine from coffee to be decaf isn't healthy anyway. Is this true, tho'?

Yet more evidence that something as tasty as coffee is actually good for you. Other studies have shown a considerable reduction in the risk of getting type 2 diabetes & liver cirrhosis plus a reduction in asthma attacks. Also coffee is a great source of antioxidants which strengthens the immune system.

It's amazing to me how many studies are done about coffee and eggs too. The critics just won't give in and accept that both are basically okay to consume. Of course nothing is good in gluttonous amounts. But, my wife has switched to espresso drinks a couple of times a day; sometimes just straight (a dopio I think). It would be interesting to know what coffee, brand, how it was brewed, etc may impact results. Surely there is a study somewhere that goes into the minutia...LOL Thanks for your post and blog.

Women who regularly consumed coffee were at lower risk of endometrial cancer. The research, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, examined data from the Nurses' Health Study, one of the largest and longest-running investigations of factors that influence women's health.

Nice i always knew that this coffee has something to offer even though i normally don't like coffee, thanks to this post am going to rethink that. Thanks for sharing.

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