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Drinking coffee lowers breast cancer risk: Swedish study

Drinking coffee lowers breast cancer risk: Swedish study

Published: 11 May 2011 12:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 May 2011 12:19 GMT+02:00

Women who drink more than 5 cups of coffee a day have a significantly lower risk of developing a certain type of breast cancer, researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet have found.

“We think this may be connected with how the coffee is prepared and what bean has been used,” the study's author Jingmei Li, said in a statement.

In the study the Swedish scientists compared the lifestyles of women with breast cancer to those of the same age without cancer. Data was also gathered on their regular coffee consumption.

Breast cancer can be sub-divided into hormone responsive (ER positive) and non-hormone-responsive (ER negative) subgroups.

The scientists found that the regular coffee drinkers among the group were less likely to develop the ER-negative breast cancer than those that rarely or never drank coffee.

Other factors also played in such as age at the beginning of menopause, fitness level and lifestyle, education and family history of breast cancer.

"But coffee remained even after we had excluded all the other factors that could make a difference," professor Per Hall told the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper.

According to Jingmei Li, the research does not conclude what it is about coffee that has the beneficial effect on the health of the women in the study.

"However, it isn’t likely to be the presence of phytoestrogens in coffee, since we saw no reduction in ER-positive types of cancer, which is hormone responsive," she said.

The link is good news for the Nordic countries as they are world leaders in coffee consumption.

According to World Resource Institute statistics from 2008, the Finns lead the group drinking the equivalent of 12 kilogrammes per capita per annum.

Sweden comes in sixth with an average of 8.2 kilogrammes consumed a year.

The study consisted of 2,800 women with breast cancer and 3,000 women who were healthy.

The results of the study are published in the medical journal Breast Cancer Research.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:07 May 11, 2011 by Twiceshy
"5 cups of coffee a day" so while less cancer it does explain why some swedish women are neurotic and crazy each day after - "5 cups of coffee a day" - and strong swedish coffee at that! ;-)
14:30 May 11, 2011 by charubun pananon
With 5 cups of coffee a day, the Swedish women might do something else bothering all of us because of sleeping difficulty.
17:31 May 11, 2011 by Antonito
Who sponsored that research?

mmm...Many researches in Universities are sponsored by big companies to show anything that increases sells.

What about the side effects of drinking so much coffee? What about drinking coffee when you have certain health problems? What about coffee and pregnancy? etc.

Perhaps it is good for women, but certainly not for some men.

I myself have problems when drinking a bit more than half cup coffee (I like coffee...so I have to compromise).
18:43 May 11, 2011 by technoviking
I thought this was Sweden. Rock some nipple.
21:01 May 11, 2011 by swedejane
Drinking 5 cups of coffee a day also decreases your chances of having a normal relationship with anyone.
21:12 May 11, 2011 by babarizam
Yesterday, i read another research from stroke magazine (England) that shows coffee, sex and nose cleaning can increase the chances of Paralysis. Now another research came out.

it sounds science is just like politics, changes every next moment.

Oh Lord, what should we do now?
22:22 May 11, 2011 by wxman
I'm with technoviking. That's an attractive breast, why cover it up?
22:50 May 11, 2011 by Loyyer32
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14:26 May 13, 2011 by tadchem
There's always a treade-off. Drinking 5 cups of coffee a day also increases your risk of incontinence.
15:46 May 17, 2011 by D. ane
Drinking 5 cups of coffee a day would probably cause someone to commit suicide due to lack of sleep! So they probably would not live long enough to get cancer!

I thought the coffee companies are doing very well why do they need to sponsor such research? Poor academics - they'll do anything to get a grant!
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