Considering all the past concern about possible health risks from drinking coffee, newer reports of coffee’s possible protective effects may leave many people confused.
Overall, recent studies suggest that coffee (regular and decaffeinated) may offer a variety of health benefits against diseases such as cancer and diabetes. However, coffee may not deserve a place in the same category with other healthful foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Laboratory studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds in coffee could help reduce risk of cancer. Coffee also has a tendency to speed the passage of waste through the digestive tract. Potentially, this may lessen the time that cancer-causing compounds spend in contact with the intestinal tract, which could reduce the risk of colon cancer. Population studies, however, tend to split between coffee intake having no effect on or reducing risk of breast and colon cancer.