Want to stay healthy and cancer-free? Have some coffee, chocolate, and wine.

Illustration for article titled Want to stay healthy and cancer-free? Have some coffee, chocolate, and wine.

It seems like many of our vices are turning out to have healthy side effects. We already know that chocolate is helpful for circulation, reduces the risk of heart disease, is a cough suppressant, and can keep your brain working as you age (and may be a treatment for HPV). Red wine is one of the most potent antioxidants available, beating out many commercial drugs, and may even prevent blindness.


Now, new research has shown that coffee may join chocolate and wine to form a perfect trinity of healthy deliciousness. In a Swedish study published in Breast Cancer Research, heavy coffee drinkers were found to have statistically significant lower rates of breast cancer.

The study included 6,000 women, comparing non-coffee drinkers to those who downed more than five cups a day. Once they adjusted for other influencing factors (like age at menopause, exercise, weight, education, and a family history of breast cancer) there was a statistically significant drop in breast cancer rates for the coffee swillers.

Unfortunately, this doesn't work for all forms of breast cancer. The results showed that the women who downed five or more cups were 57% less likely get estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer and 33% the progesterone-receptor-negative variant type — types which generally have a worse prognosis than the positive versions.

Chocolate, wine and coffee. Could be worse.

Illustration via Shutterstock


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Dr Emilio Lizardo

Long story short: basically, you can't conclude from this study that coffee reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, you can only conclude that it probably doesn't increase the risk.

Also, I had to read the last paragraph several times to make sure that was stated correctly. An oncologist would simply call it estrogen receptor or progesterone receptor negative (ER or PR for short). Calling it "anti-estrogen resistant" ER/PR ngative is repetitive since it means the same thing. it's like saying "the not-red, yellow ball."