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LMU 49 – The Coffee Conundrum: Caffeine’s Triumph Over Colon Cancer Recurrence

Caffeinated Coffee Strongly Linked to Reduced Colon Cancer

LMU 49 – The Coffee Conundrum: Caffeine's Triumph Over Colon Cancer Recurrence

Source: The Journal of Clinical Oncology 2015

Lifestyle Medicine Update (March 30, 2017)


In the realm of innovative medical research, a groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2015 has unearthed an intriguing correlation between regular caffeinated coffee consumption and a reduced risk of colon cancer recurrence. By delving into the intricate interplay between coffee’s caffeinated compounds and post-treatment colon cancer outcomes, this study offers a new ray of hope for patients seeking to thwart cancer’s return and enhance the likelihood of a complete cure.

Unveiling the Study

The Journal of Clinical Oncology’s 2015 study casts a spotlight on the remarkable potential of caffeinated coffee in safeguarding against colon cancer recurrence. This seminal research involves an exhaustive examination of nearly 1,000 colon cancer patients. Participants in the study underwent a comprehensive evaluation through dietary questionnaires at multiple time points: early in the study, during chemotherapy, and approximately a year later. The study’s remarkable findings highlight those patients who consistently consumed four or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day exhibited the lowest recurrence rate of colon cancer, alongside diminished metastasis and mortality from any cause.

The Power of Caffeine

The study’s pivotal revelation hinges on caffeine’s intrinsic protective properties. With a caffeine intake equivalent to around 460 mg per day, patients who achieved this threshold demonstrated a striking 42 percent reduction in the likelihood of cancer recurrence, compared to their non-coffee-drinking counterparts. Additionally, these avid coffee enthusiasts showcased a 33 percent lower risk of succumbing to cancer or other causes. Intriguingly, the study underscores the gradient effect of coffee consumption on cancer prevention. While two to three cups of coffee per day yielded a more modest benefit, a meager protective effect was observed with a consumption of one cup of coffee or less.

Significance and Implications

The study’s significance is amplified by the temporal window within which colon cancer recurrence typically occurs. Given that most colon cancer recurrences manifest within the initial five years post-treatment, the study’s insights wield substantial relevance. By establishing caffeinated coffee as a potential safeguard against recurrences during this critical period, the study elucidates a practical avenue for patients to fortify their defences.

Furthermore, this study resonates harmoniously with a burgeoning body of research that has extolled the manifold protective virtues of coffee against diverse cancer types. Beyond colon cancer, recent studies have spotlighted coffee’s potential in curbing the development of postmenopausal breast cancer, melanoma, liver cancer, and advanced prostate cancer.

Unlocking Caffeine’s Mechanisms

Scrutinizing the mechanisms through which caffeine exerts its cancer-defying influence unravels a multi-faceted tapestry. Caffeine’s ability to enhance insulin sensitivity emerges as a pivotal player in this narrative. By reducing the body’s insulin requirements post-meals, caffeine precipitates lower insulin levels, which are intrinsically linked to decreased cancer risk and recurrence.

Emerging experimental studies have further delineated caffeine’s prowess. These studies illuminate caffeine’s potential to bolster the efficacy of certain chemotherapy drugs by augmenting their tumor-killing effects. Additionally, caffeine appears to orchestrate the orchestrated demise of nascent cancer cells through programmed cell death, simultaneously quelling cancer cell replication.

Coffee’s Evolution: From Culprit to Cure

The journey of coffee and caffeine within the context of cancer prevention underscores the fluidity of scientific understanding. Once considered potential carcinogens, both coffee and caffeine now experience a paradigm shift from cancer-causing agents to formidable cancer warriors, a transformation catalyzed by a spate of recent cancer studies.

As coffee aficionados ponder the dichotomy of coffee’s perception, it is prudent for those unburdened by caffeine sensitivity to consider integrating two to four cups of coffee per day into their routine. For colon cancer survivors, engaging in a dialogue with their healthcare providers about the potential benefits of consuming four or more cups of caffeinated coffee daily becomes a judicious step. The insights gleaned from the Journal of Clinical Oncology study offer a pivotal bridge between medical research and actionable lifestyle changes.


The Journal of Clinical Oncology’s 2015 study sets a transformative precedent by illuminating the resolute link between caffeinated coffee and reduced colon cancer recurrence risk. As the medical community endeavors to harness the intricate symphony of epigenetic and physiological processes, coffee emerges as a potent conductor that orchestrates an amplified defence against cancer recurrence. By integrating coffee into their daily regimen, individuals might just find an unexpected ally in the formidable battle against cancer’s resurgence.


  1. (Main Reference): Brendan J. Guercio, Kaori Sato, Donna Niedzwiecki, Xing Ye, Leonard B. Saltz, Robert J. Mayer, Rex B. Mowat, Renaud Whittom, Alexander Hantel, Al Benson, Daniel Atienza, Michael Messino, Hedy Kindler, Alan Venook, Frank B. Hu, Shuji Ogino, Kana Wu, Walter C. Willett, Edward L. Giovannucci, Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, and Charles S. Fuchs. Coffee Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality in Stage III Colon Cancer: Results from CALGB 89803 (Alliance). Journal of Clinical Oncology, August 2015

Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,

Dr. Meschino

Dr. James Meschino


Dr. James Meschino, DC, MS, ROHP, is an educator, author, and researcher having lectured to thousands of healthcare professionals across North America. He holds a Master’s Degree in Science with specialties in human nutrition and biology and is recognized as an expert in the field of nutrition, anti-aging, fitness, and wellness as well as the author of numerous books.

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