That cup of coffee might slow the spread of colon cancer

Morning cup of coffee in a white mug on a wooden table. (James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)

If you can’t go a day without coffee, you’re not alone.

And it turns out that “cup of joe” could actually be good for you.

A recent study shows it may help slow the spread of colon cancer.

“What this study showed is an association, not so much a proven relationship, so it seems as if the coffee is the cause of improved outcomes for colon cancer and a reduced rate of it,” said Suneel Kamath, MD, an oncologist at Cleveland Clinic, who did not take part in the study.

The study looked at dietary questionnaires from 1,171 people who were undergoing chemotherapy for advanced or metastatic colon cancer.

They found that for every cup of coffee consumed, there was a seven percent improvement in survival; and a five percent improvement in cancer growth.

Researchers found that it didn’t matter if someone drank decaf or caffeinated coffee — both appeared to positively impact colon cancer.

Dr. Kamath said it seems that it was the coffee itself that helped and not so much the caffeine.

So, what’s in coffee that makes it so special?

According to Dr. Kamath, it’s chock full of disease-fighting antioxidants.

“If you’re worried about drinking three or four cups a day, it’s probably safe and may actually be more beneficial than drinking less,” Dr. Kamath said. “So, if you really like that ‘cup of joe’ in the morning and that one in the afternoon, like I do, keep doing it. It probably has a number of benefits, specifically to colorectal cancer and maybe for some others.”

Other studies have linked coffee consumption to a reduced risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes, liver disease and heart disease.

Complete results can be found in the journal JAMA Oncology.