New information about caffeine appears frequently, and the latest research on this commonly used drug is that it does not seem to be associated with the overall risk of breast cancer.
It was believed, according to Science Daily, that caffeine increased the risk of breast cancer after a study showed that women with non-cancerous breast disease experienced relief from their symptoms after removing caffeine from their diets.
But in the latest study, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Tokyo Women's Medical University studied 38,432 women 45 years and older who provided dietary information from 1992 to 1995. The article says 1,188 of the women developed invasive breast cancer over 10 years of follow up.
The authors reported: "Consumption of caffeine and caffeinated beverages and foods was not statistically significantly associated with overall risk of breast cancer."
There was a positive association, though a non-significant one, for breast cancer risk among women who had benign breast disease and fell into either the highest one-fifth of caffeine consumption or highest category of coffee consumption (four or more cups daily).
The researchers concluded that caffeine may affect the progression of certain breast cancers, but that caffeine's relationship to the disease is a complex one and more research is needed.
In the meantime, as usual, moderation is best.
Check out our article on organic, fair trade coffees.
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