Is coffee good for you?
Well, adding to its already impressive resume, Japanese researchers now report coffee may protect against colon cancer. Not so fast, guys. The results were only found in the women involved in the study.
The scientists studied almost 100,000 men and women, ages 40-69, over a twelve-year period. They found that those women consuming three or more cups of coffee each day had a 50% lower risk of developing colon cancer than non-coffee drinkers.
Why did the guys fare so poorly? Scientists think it may be the excessive smoking and drinking by the Japanese male populace. With most Japanese men drinking alcohol, and a large percentage of smokers, the scientists believe the study may have been unable to adjust for this impact.
The researchers are unsure of the exact reason the coffee protects against colon cancer in women. They theorize it may be due either to the stimulation of the colon, or to the antioxidants found in coffee.
Previous studies have shown coffee helps reduce the risk of developing several health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, gallstones, liver problems, and Parkinson's disease. It has also been shown to improve cognitive function, increase alertness, and improve endurance performance.
So, combined with the studies touting the benefits of chocolate, it appears to be the perfect opportunity to ask your favorite barista to whip you up a special brew of dark roasted coffee, deep dark chocolate, and - why not? - a shot or two fluffy whipped cream for good measure.
To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about the health benefits of coffee, see this press release from Harvard Health Publications, or this from positively coffee, an international coffee organization.