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Coffee racks up points as a cancer killer

December 21, 2011

In the war against cancer, coffee may turn out to be one of the most beneficial and surprising weapons you never suspected. In just the past eight months, coffee — often lots of it (heaven if you can’t get enough of the stuff) — has been linked to lower rates of four kinds of cancer. We’ve checked the list twice. Here’s what could keep Starbucks’ and Keurig’s businesses nice. Starting with the newest news, coffee seems to be anathema to:

■ Endometrial cancer. Women who have several cups are 25 per cent less likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who don’t finish even one cup. (No, Dr. Mike doesn’t know how someone does that, either.) Dose: at least four cups a day.

■ Prostate cancer. There’s increasing evidence that prostate cancer wants nothing to do with coffee. Just weeks ago, new data came in indicating that coffee — high-test AND decaf — is particularly effective at shooing off the most dangerous kind of prostate cancer. Dose: at least one and ideally up to six cups a day, with/without caffeine.

■ The most common skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma. If cellular trouble has quietly started, caffeinated coffee acts to shut it down. Dose: more than three cups a day.

■ Breast cancer. Heavy coffee drinkers have been linked to a lower risk of certain types of breast cancer after menopause — 20 per cent to 50 per cent lower versus women who have less than a cup a day. Dose: at least five cups a day of regular. Decaf doesn’t do it.
2011 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

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