Does drinking lots of coffee really help to prevent breast cancer?

Monday, May 23, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: coffee, breast cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) Coffee addiction may not be the detriment to health many people think it is, according to a new study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research. Postmenopausal women over 50 who drink five or more cups of coffee every day may be as much as 57 percent less likely to develop estrogen-receptor (ER) negative tumors, say researchers from the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Sweden.

Dr. Jingmei Li and her colleagues from KI evaluated 6,000 women, some of whom drank no coffee, and others who drank five cups or more. After adjusting for outside factors like age at menopause, weight, family history of breast cancer, and others that affect results, the research team observed that women who drank the most coffee were least likely to develop some of the most serious forms of breast cancer.

On the other hand, coffee consumption played no role in reducing the risk of ER-positive cancers, indicating that something unique to the ER-negative varieties is sensitive to coffee. ER-negative breast cancers are typically the most difficult to treat with conventional medicine, as many breast cancer drugs have no effect on them.

"A high daily intake of coffee was found to be associated with a significant decrease in ER-negative breast cancer among postmenopausal women," wrote the team in their report. "We believe that this may have something to do with the way the coffee was prepared, or the type of bean preferred."

Previous research has shown that drinking coffee may also help to reduce the risk of developing liver fibrosis, hepatitis, type-2 diabetes, prostate cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease (

However, drinking too much coffee can lead to dehydration, hypertension, and even mineral leeching from the bones ( The high acidity of coffee can also upset proper digestive function, leading to various other health problems.

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