Regular consumption of coffee can help reduce risk of endometrial cancer in women, according to a new study.
Dr Melissa A. Merritt and her research team from the Imperial College London, UK reviewed the role of certain dietary factors discussed in previous studies.
Of the 84 foods and nutrients listed in the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study, nine were shortlisted for having an association with endometrial cancer. The nine foods include butter, potatoes, yogurt, coffee, cheese, carbohydrates, phosphorus, monounsaturated fat and total fat.
The results were then compared with two US-based studies-the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and NHSII.
Phosphorus, monounsaturated fat and total fat protected against endometrial cancer, while carbohydrates and butter increased the risk. These associations were found only in the EPIC study and not in the NHS/NHSII cohorts.
The three studies included nearly 2,834 cases of endometrial cancer. In the EPIC study, just three cups of coffee or 750 grams a day saw 19 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer than having less than one cup of the popular beverage.
Meanwhile, in the NHS/NHSII study, women who reported consuming 1, 000 grams, or four cups of coffee, reduced their risk of endometrial cancer by 18 percent than non-drinkers.
The study has been reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Researchers from the London's Imperial College reported in September 2013 that some components found in coffee like chlorogenic acid can lower the risk of cancer by working as an antioxidant, preventing DNA damage and improving insulin sensitivity.
Endometrial cancer affects the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. Symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, discharge, pain during sex, pelvic pain or pressure.
Nearly 142,000 women are diagnosed with endometrial cancer annually and the deadly disease claims 42,000 lives every year. It is one of the most common type of womb cancer, which sometimes lead to severe complications, by spreading to other parts of the body, especially lungs.
Studies in the past have shown that a woman's reproductive ability influences her risk of endometrial cancer. In a study reported in March last year, having 10 or more children nearly halved a mom's risk of developing endometrial cancer. Similarly, giving birth to the last child after the age of 30 has also been shown to reduce risk of endometrial cancer.
Certain factors known to increase risk of the deadly disease, according to Mayo Clinic in the US include early menarche, old age, hormone therapy for breast cancer, obesity and never becoming pregnant.