Monday, February 9, 2009

Is Coffee a Cancer Preventive?

Current research has shown that coffee contains substances that could prevent cancer, has the purveyors of Patent Medicine missed this boat years ago?

By: Ringo Bones

Even though the Golden Age of Patent Medicine – i.e. the 19th Century – is already a distant past, contemporary purveyors of Patent Medicines – i.e. the health food faddists – are probably kicking themselves for missing to exploit a marketing potential. Especially when a recent legitimate medical study had shown that one of the worlds most ubiquitous beverage – namely coffee - contains substances that could prevent cancer.

Scientists working on the medical study had identified substances in coffee that has promising potential in preventing cancer called melanoidins. Melanoidins give roasted coffee beans their brown color. Laboratory tests have shown that melanoidins have anti-cancer properties because they restrict the cancer cell’s ability to produce the MMP enzyme that allows them to spread or metastasize.

The longer the coffee beans are roasted, the more melanoidins it contains. Even though the on-going medical studies are focused on intestinal tract cancers, the melanoidins and caffeine content of coffee might also have prophylactic effects on some cancers like ovarian cancer. Even though full results of the coffee anti-cancer property study still await further evaluation, preliminary results have shown that melanoidins do have the power to inhibit the MMP cancer enzyme in laboratory tests.

If the on-going research eventually proves that regular coffee intake has cancer preventive properties, you should consult your GP first before starting to drink coffee on a regular basis. Especially if you have a preexisting high-blood pressure or other related cardiovascular disorders which could be exacerbated via increased coffee consumption. But in spite of all this, looks like the humble “Cup of Joe” has finally received due appreciation not just for its good taste and the way it wakes most of us during the start of our day.

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