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Four cups of coffee 'cuts risk of cancer'

Women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day may have a reduced risk of developing cancer in the lining of their uterus, says a study.

Researchers who looked at more than 67,000 US nurses found that women who drank that much coffee were one-quarter less likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who averaged less than a cup a day.

The absolute risk that any one woman, coffee drinker or not, would develop the cancer was fairly small, with only 672 women -- or 1pc of the study group -- diagnosed in 26 years.

While researchers could also not say for certain that coffee was the reason for the lower risk, the study adds to several others with similar results.


Coffee itself may have some benefits, said senior researcher Edward Giovannucci, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

"It can lower insulin levels and may lower levels of free estrogen circulating in the body," he added.

Of course, downing four cups of coffee a day may not be a good idea, especially for someone sensitive to the effects of caffeine.

The researchers found that while caffeinated coffee was tied to a lower cancer risk, there was no statistically significant link with decaf.

And adding sugar and cream to coffee could be bad for the waistline.

With obesity also tied to a higher risk of the cancer, that could wipe out any potential benefit of coffee drinking.