Story at a glance

  • Alcohol consumption could elevate the risk of developing 11 types of cancer.
  • “This umbrella review confirms the evidence we have for alcohol and coffee in relation to cancer," said Giota Mitrou, the director of research and innovation at World Cancer Research Fund .
  • “Further research needs to better understand the mechanisms involved in the links between coffee and cancer as well as between alcohol and different cancer subtypes,” she added.

Alcohol consumption could elevate the risk of developing 11 types of cancer, new research suggests. 

Researchers, led by a team from Imperial College London, found in a study published in Nature Communications that drinking alcohol “is a major risk factor for several cancers, including breast, CRC, esophageal, head and neck, and liver cancer.” 

But consuming at least one cup of regular or decaffeinated coffee could protect against liver cancer, while eating dairy and multigrain foods might lower the risk of colorectal cancers, according to the researchers.

“This umbrella review confirms the evidence we have for alcohol and coffee in relation to cancer,” said Giota Mitrou, the director of research and innovation at World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), according to The Guardian

“Further research needs to better understand the mechanisms involved in the links between coffee and cancer as well as between alcohol and different cancer subtypes,” Mitrou, whose organization funded the research, added. 


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Researchers noted that “the beneficial effects of coffee consumption might be due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” which may “protect against diseases triggered by inflammation like cancer.”

The study used data from 860 reviews of published studies to analyze the link between various nutrients and the risk of developing or dying from cancer. 

A recent study published in The Lancet medical journal found that alcohol consumption was associated with more than 700,000 cancer diagnoses worldwide in 2020 — accounting for 4.1 percent of cancer cases. 


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Published on Aug 05, 2021