A new study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that drinking coffee lowers the risk of developing oral cancer.
According to the researchers, drinking one cup of coffee a day over several years dramatically lowered the risk of dying from oral cancer.
The researchers examined the associations of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and tea consumption with fatal oral cancer. They surveyed 968,432 cancer-free men and women over 26 years. At the end of the study period, 868 had died due to oral cancer.
Drinking two to three cups a day reduced the risk of developing oral cancer by 33 percent.
The study also found that drinking more than four cups of caffeinated coffee a day was associated with a 49 percent lower risk of oral cancer death compared to not drinking coffee at all or only drinking occasionally. There was no significant decrease associated with decaffeinated coffee and no decrease at all for tea.
The researchers said the reductions were not modified by sex, alcohol use, or smoking.
Study author Janet S. Hildebrand said, “We are not recommending that people start drinking coffee for cancer prevention. But this is good news for those of us who enjoy coffee.”
It is uncertain why caffeinated coffee had such an impact on the reduction of oral cancer. However, coffee contains polyphenols and antioxidants that may help prevent the development or progression of oral cancer.
The strongest risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol use and HPV. Researchers found that 26 out of every 1 million Americans are affected by HPV-related oral cancers.