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Drink coffee. Stop liver cancer?
Merril Diniz |
March 03, 2005
here's nothing like a cup of hot steaming coffee to jolt you out of sleep mode every morning.
And with the board exams coming up, many a student will be burning the midnight oil and gulping down umpteen cups of black coffee to keep the sandman away.
Coffee is also an excuse for something more leisurely -- a good conversation.
"Wanna go for a coffee?" How many times in a week do you find yourself asking this question?
Thus, coffee shops are teaming with students and professionals, chatting incessantly, lounging around for hours, nursing cups of cappuccino. Pure bliss!
Besides the role of energy booster, stress buster and conversation starter, coffee could also be playing a bigger role in your life.
More than just a cup of coffee
~ According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a research team led by Dr Monami Inoue and a team of researchers of the National Cancer Centre in Tokyo analysed a public health study spanning ten years, to determine coffee consumption by people diagnosed with liver cancer versus those who did not have cancer.
~ They discovered that liver cancer in people who never or almost never drank coffee was 547.2 cases per 100,000 people. But for people who drank coffee daily, the risk was 214.6 cases per 100,000!
~ The results indicated that those who drank one to two cups of coffee a day were likely to be protected. This likelihood increased when coffee consumption increased to, say, three to four cups.
~ Whether decaffeinated coffee also has a similar effect was not clear as the decaf variety is rarely consumed in Japan.
Is coffee therapeutic?
The debate is on around the world. But closer home, here's what nutritionists have to say.
Diet and fitness consultant Seema Tarneja says, "There's a lot of controversy surrounding coffee and its ability to prevent cancer. Research is being conducted around the world, and there are many contradictory reports. Some say coffee consumption helps build immunity against liver cancer. But if a patient has a liver problem, I advise him/ her to abstain from caffeine!"
Dietitian Rohini Diniz believes caffeine might indeed have a role in preventing liver cancer: "This is because caffeine is a phytochemical ('phyto' means plant), and phytochemicals have been known to display medicinal properties even though they do not have any nutritive value."
Thus, there is no universal theory on the subject yet.
Quick coffee shots!
1. According to Tarneja, it is healthier to have black coffee. When you add milk to coffee, it kills all the antioxidants -- which boost your immunity levels -- in the coffee.
2. If you are stressed, you can drink up to two or three cups of coffee. But make sure you do not skip your meals. Else, it could be harmful for your system.
3. Some studies indicate that caffeine intake also hinders calcium absorption. So too much caffeine is not advisable.
4. If you are are worried about excessive caffeine intake, switch to decaffeinated coffee, which is now becoming popular in India.
So go easy on the caffeine and relish your cuppa!
With inputs from PTI