Coffee consumption and cancers of the digestive tract – Part 1

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This is the second of six blog posts on the topic of coffee consumption and cancer research, concentrating on the impact of coffee consumption and cancers of the digestive tract. Coffee and Health also houses current scientific information on a wide range of other coffee-related topics.

Following is an overview of research conducted in this area.

No link between coffee and cancers of the oesophagus or stomach

A recent literature survey pooling the data from 22 studies published between 1974 and 2008 reports an unchanged or reduced risk, of oesophageal cancer when 3 cups of coffee per day or more are consumed.  The majority of studies included in this review, however, report a potentially higher risk with hotter drinks.

A large meta-analysis into the area also reports that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop oesophageal cancer than non-drinkers, whilst another meta-analysis finds no association between coffee consumption and the development of stomach cancer.

In a Norwegian studywith nearly 390,000 participants over 14 years, no relationship is found between coffee intake and cancer of the oesophagus.

Coffee drinking linked to reduced risk of cancers of the mouth and throat

A meta-analysis of studies published between 1989 and 2009 reports an overall reduced risk for cancers of the oral cavity/pharynx when comparing those drinking between 3-5 cups of coffee a day versus those drinking less than 1 cup a day.  There is no link between coffee consumption and laryngeal cancer.

Another recent, meta-analysis confirms that those who drink coffee are at lower risk of buccal and pharyngeal cancers. However, a Norwegian studyof middle-aged men and women finds no relationship between the amount of coffee consumed and risk of cancer of the mouth and pharynx.

More research is needed to clarify the link between coffee and cancers of the mouth and throat.

For more information on coffee and cancer research click here, and to view information sources, click here.

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