Ok, so the headline is a little exaggerated, but the ridiculous implication that women who drink more than four cups of coffee a day have a “25% lower risk of endometrial cancer than those who consumed less than 1 cup per day,” is even more exaggerated. The data comes from a report recently released by the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health entitled, A Prospective Cohort Study of Coffee Consumption and Risk of Endometrial Cancer over a 26-Year Follow-Up. According to the paper, “We prospectively assessed coffee consumption in relation to endometrial cancer risk in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) with 67,470 female participants aged 34 to 59 in 1980. Cumulative average coffee intake was calculated with all available questionnaires to assess long-term effects. Cox regression models were used to calculate incidence rate ratios (RR), controlling for other risk factors.” Based on the above, it would appear that the report authors took “all available questionnaires” and then used the Cox regression model to determine the possible incidence that the 67,470 women would be diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Then they looked at coffee consumption and used more models/arithmetic (blah, blah, blah) and BOOM! it is now reported that “ These prospective data suggest that four or more cups of coffee per day are associated with a lower risk of endometrial cancer.” And, based on that conclusion, the team announces, “Drinking of coffee, given its widespread consumption, might be an additional strategy to reduce endometrial cancer risk.” SERIOUSLY!? Even I (with no medical degree) can tell you that drinking more than 32 ounces of coffee a day is not healthy. In fact, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine believes that “Caffeine intoxication can occur when more than two or three cups of coffee are consumed, the equivalent to about 250 mg of caffeine.” That’s two cups less than what Harvard researchers suggest reduces a woman’s risk for endometrial cancer! What can one look forward to if they are experiencing caffeine intoxication? “Symptoms of caffeine intoxication include nervousness, over-excitement, inability to sleep, muscle twitches or cardiac abnormalities. People with caffeine intoxication may have a flushed look in their face and have gastrointestinal problems.” BUT YOU WILL HAVE A 25 PERCENT LESS CHANCE OF GETTING ENDOMETRIAL CANCER or you could kill someone. According to Susan Campbell, author of Too Much Caffeine Can Cause Caffeine Intoxication, A Recognized Disorder, “Caffeine intoxication has also generated new attention with the 2009 strangulation murder of a woman, who is alleged to be killed by her husband in what his attorneys call a short-term psychotic condition spurred by lack of sleep and an overdose of caffeine and energy drinks.”
Ironically, Harvard researchers claim their are other benefits of caffeinated coffee for women. Apparently, “Women who consumed four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 20 percent decreased risk of developing depression over the 10-year period compared with those who consumed one cup or less a week,” according to a study released today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The Bloomberg story also noted, “The findings applied only to coffee, which has higher levels of caffeine than teas, sugary sodas or chocolate, the researchers said.”
Wait, there’s another study by…yes…Harvard, actually the study comes from researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard that ” women who consumed more than three cups of coffee per day had a 20% reduced risk for BCC [basal cell carcinoma]” commonly referred to as skin cancer. If you are even just a little offended, good. Studies like these always come with a disclaimer: In the above story, buried in the last few paragraphs is this curious sentence “previous studies have demonstrated a link between coffee consumption and a decreased risk for skin cancer, but these studies were done with animals.” In the Reuter’s article researchers state that they , “cannot say for certain that coffee was the reason for the lower risk among heavy java drinkers.” So, there you have it, sloppy studies released that “suggest” women are being researched to gain better health statistics. I think we’re being had.