Coffee, the new health food?

Coffee, the new health food?You know it gives you a morning buzz and makes that wait in the Starbucks line worth it. But here's something you may not have realized about coffee: New research has concluded that coffee helps cut the risk of head and neck cancers. The latest findings, cited in the trade publication Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, seem to reinforce prior studies that found coffee drinkers have lower rates of kidney and ovarian cancers.

"Besides caffeine, coffee contains more than a thousand chemicals," researchers say, adding that the compounds cafestol and kahweol may be protective against carcinogens that would normally damage our genes, Reuters Health reports.

This study used data from nine earlier experiments and compared results to tea drinkers, cigarette smokers, and others with and without cancer. Scientists discovered that the chance of getting head and neck cancers is 12% lower for coffee drinkers.

Also, the more coffee consumed, the lower your risk of getting head and neck cancers. People who drink coffee more than four times per day reduce their risk by one third. However, if you don't drink coffee as much, your risk of getting head and neck cancers are still low. Only about 1 in 10,000 Americans get this type of cancer each year.

But for those looking for an excuse not to give up that first, second or third morning cup, this might be the ticket. Now, whether you'll get caffeine jitters or weird stains on your teeth is another story.
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