Posted on: 08 June, 2005

Author: Randy Wilson

Many gallstones studies over the last twenty years have hinted at a relationship between consuming caffeinated coffee and a reduced risk of these issues, including cirrhosis of the liver, colorectal cancer, and gastrointestinal health. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway, recently did a study of the correlation between coffee consumption and gallstones health; specifically, they evaluated the mortality rate from cirrhosis of the liver. When the researchers looked at those who died from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver, there was no benefit to drinking coffee. However, for those who suffered from cirrhosis of the liver not related to alcohol, drinking coffee reduced the effects of the liver cirrhosis. When the Department of Medicine at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program (Northern California Region) in Oakland, California, did their study, they recognized that most heavy drinkers do not develop alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver and other gastrointestinal disorders. The researchers found that those patients who drank four or more cups of coffee per day had one-fifth the risk of cirrhosis of the liver as non-coffee and tea drinkers. This relationship remained constant even when weighed against other risk factors such as other gastrointestinal health issues. The Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary in Canada examined the relationship of coffee consumption with various gastrointestinal cancers, including bladder, colon, and rectal. The study was unable to find any correlation between coffee or tea consumption and bladder or rectal cancer. However, the study again found that drinking five or more cups of coffee daily significantly reduced the risk of colon cancer. This was especially pronounced with cancer of the proximal colon rather than the distal colon. The Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri in Milan, Italy, choose to look at a different gastrointestinal health issue, colorectal cancer. They reviewed twenty-five studies published between 1990 and 2003 to try to determine any sort of statistical relationship between drinking coffees or tea and colorectal cancer. The analysis concluded that there was no benefit to drinking either decaffeinated coffees or any kind of tea. However, drinking caffeinated coffees repeatedly was shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, regardless of any demographic biases. This same facility also looked at the relationship between coffee consumption and cancers of the bladder, pancreas, colon, and rectum in a separate epidemiological study. They found that, despite the highly publicized accounts to the contrary, the higher risk of bladder cancer for coffee drinkers is negligible and a relationship could not be found with either amount of coffees consumed or length of time over which it was consumed. This was also true for pancreatic cancer; a study in 1981 showed a possible association with coffee consumption, but most studies since then have not shown a statistically significant relationship. This study also showed that coffee consumption reduced the risk of colorectal cancer, particularly cancer centered in the colon. The Department of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, also did a statistical analysis of twelve published articles pertaining to the relationship between coffee consumption and the reduced risk of colorectal cancer. This analysis determined that the lower risk of colorectal cancer due to coffees was particularly observed in studies from Asia, Northern and Southern Europe, and North America. While the analysis could not definitively state that there is a relationship due to the difference in the ways the various studies were conducted, the results did indicate as previously published that coffee consumption lowered the risk of colorectal cancer. The Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, looked at the possible relationship between coffees consumption and gallstones. The researchers particularly examined the relationship between cholecystectomy, a surrogate of symptomatic gallstone disease, and coffees consumption in women. Over twenty years, over 80,000 women were studied to watch for various gastrointestinal health issues. The researchers found that drinking caffeinated coffees reduced the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in women. The same institute also studied this same relationship between coffees consumption and gastrointestinal health issues in men. Over 46,000 men were surveyed. This study found that increasing the intake of caffeinated coffees (four or more cups daily) decreased the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease. In total, these studies have shown that there may be some relationship between the consumption of caffeinated coffees and the reduction of risk of several gastrointestinal health issues. These studies showed that there is a significant probability of benefit with regards to cirrhosis of the liver, colorectal cancer, and gallstones. There was not enough data to conclusively state the same about other cancers, including that of the bladder and pancreas. © Copyright Randy Wilson, All Rights Reserved. Source: Free Articles from