Influence of the mode of coffee preparation

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According to a Swedish study with 64,603 participants, including 3,034 cases – the first study to look at the influence of coffee preparation on cancer risk – the risk of cancer could vary between drinkers of filtered or boiled coffee110:

  • For all sites combined, as well as for prostate and colon alone, there was no association between mode of coffee preparation and cancer risk.
  • For breast cancer, 4 cups or more of boiled coffee per day compared to 1 or fewer decreased the risk by 48%.
  • An increased risk was found in pre-menopausal and a decreased risk in post-menopausal women for total and filtered coffee, respectively.
  • The consumption of boiled coffee increased the risk of pancreatic cancer in both sexes, and of cancer of the respiratory tract in men.
  • IARC also stated that “studies that have been reported do not show consistent and robust differences in cancer risk for different kinds of coffee or different preparation methods”1.

Influence of the temperature of hot beverages

In 2016, IARC classified beverages consumed at very high temperatures (defined as over 65°C) in Group 2A: “probably carcinogenic to the human oesophagus”1. 65°C is significantly hotter than the temperature at which most people can comfortably drink coffee without scalding their mouth and tongue111,112; coffee is typically drunk at temperatures below 60°C. When IARC assessed evidence for a link between oesophageal cancer and coffee specifically, it found insufficient evidence of an association.

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