Coffee drinkers less likely to die from oral cancers

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It’s been proven that a daily cup of Joe has many health benefits – ranging from cardiovascular and skin protection to warding off certain diseases like Parkinson’s.

Now, a large-scale study from the The American Journal of Epidemiology has found coffee drinkers are less likely to die from oral cancer, the New York Times reported.

Scientists followed more than 900,000 healthy men and women, starting in the year 1982 – and 26 years later, only 868 people had died of oral or throat cancer.

Participants filled out questionnaires on their health and dietary habits. Researchers took into consideration factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption, but even with those factors in place, researchers found those who drank one cup of coffee had a 26 percent lower risk of death from oral cancers than those who did not drink coffee.

Coffee drinkers who consumed two to three cups daily had a 33 percent lower risk.  Hardcore coffee drinkers – drinking at least four to six cups a day – had a 50 percent lower risk.

The one caveat: The coffee has to be caffeinated, and there is no correlation with a reduced risk of oral cancer for tea drinkers.

The study’s lead author, Janet S. Hildebrand of the American Cancer Society, said the study is still unclear as to whether the coffee drinkers are less likely to develop oral cancers, or just more likely to survive it.

But, whatever the reason, it most likely has to do with the fact that coffee contains helpful compounds to ward off cancer and antioxidant benefits.

Click for more from The New York Times.