In the war against cancer, caffeine may turn out to be one of the most beneficial, surprising weapons you never suspected. And with at least one type of cancer, even decaf coffee may be just as powerful as the caffeinated stuff. Drinking coffee can help keep your mind young, too.
In some research, coffee -- often lots of it -- has been linked to lower rates of four kinds of cancer, including breast cancer. We've checked the list twice. In these studies, coffee seems to be anathema to:
- Endometrial cancer. Research indicates that women who drink lots of coffee are 25% less likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who don't finish even 1 cup. (Dr. Mike doesn't know how someone can't.) Dose: at least 4 cups a day.
- Prostate cancer. There's some evidence that prostate cancer detests coffee. Dose: 1 to 6 cups a day, with or without caffeine. Skip those caramel coffee drinks with whipped cream.
- The most common skin cancer. If basal cell carcinoma has quietly gotten a toehold, coffee acts to shut it down, researchers say. Dose: more than 3 cups a day.
- Breast cancer. Women who drink lots of coffee also run a lower risk of certain types of breast cancer after menopause -- 20 to 50% lower versus women who have less than 1 cup a day. Dose: at least 5 cups a day of regular. Decaf coffee doesn't do it.