Coffee consumption may be associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk, with drinking more than 2.5 servings per day being associated with a 54% lower risk of developing the disease, a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has shown.1

Although coffee intake has been proposed as a protective factor for CRC, current evidence remains unclear. Therefore, researchers sought to investigate the effect of coffee consumption on CRC risk.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 5145 CRC cases and 4097 controls from the Molecular Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer (MECC) study, a population-based case-control study conducted in northern Israel. Researchers also examined the association between coffee intake and CRC risk by type of coffee consumed, by cancer site, and by ethnic group.

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Results showed that coffee consumption was associated with a 26% reduced risk for developing CRC compared with nondrinkers (OR, 0.74; 95% CI: 0.64-0.86; P < .001).

With regard to coffee type, drinking decaffeinated coffee alone or boiled coffee was similarly associated with a decreased risk of CRC, and in terms of cancer site, coffee consumption was linked to cancer of both the colon and the rectum.

Researchers also found that increasing coffee consumption was associated with a reduced likelihood of developing CRC. Compared with drinking less than 1 serving/day, those who consumed 1 to less than 2 servings/day], 2 to 2.5 servings/day, and more than 2.5 servings/day were associated with a significantly lower risk of CRC.


1. Schmit SL, Rennert HS, Rennert G, Gruber SB. Coffee consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarks Prev. 2016;25:634.