Monday, May 16, 2011

Five coffee cups a day keep breast cancer away?

Five cups a day keep the breast cancer away? Maybe.
If Swedish researchers from the Karolinska Institute have their data straight, five cups of coffee per day can significantly reduce a woman's risk of developing a subtype of breast cancer, known as hormone or estrogen receptor–negative (ER-negative) breast cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, estrogen doesn't affect ER-negative cancer cells. The University of Maryland Medical Center says this type of cancer can only be treated with chemotherapy, which limits one's treatment options.

The Swedish study did not quiz the women about which brand or kind of coffee produced the best breast-protecting boost. The study simply looked at women of the same age with and without breast cancer, compared lifestyle factors such as coffee consumption and found a lower percentage of women with breast cancer in the coffee-guzzling group.

According to, coffee made with robusta beans, primarily grown in Vietnam, has the lion's share of the South Korean market, driven by the popularity of instant coffee. Coffee made from arabica beans, mainly grown in South America, is commonly found in U.S. markets but is starting to gain market share in South Korea.

Researchers inspired by the results of this study could test particular varieties of coffee to find out which offers better breast protection.

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