Queensland study reveals drinking coffee does not change cancer risk


There has long been the debate on how drinking coffee can impact your health, with ongoing concerns around its link to cancer.

The QIMR Berghofer Medical Research in Brisbane has just released a large randomised study on whether coffee increases cancer risk.

Here’s what you need to know.

The study

The findings show drinking coffee every day neither reduces nor increases a person’s risk of being diagnosed with, or dying from cancer.

The study assessed data from 300,000 coffee drinkers and used previous international observational studies and a genetic-based technique.

This technique was chosen to correct issues with previous studies which may have falsely indicated coffee over other lifestyle factors as the cause of cancer, and to instead find people who were naturally predisposed to enjoy drinking coffee.

Senior author and head of QIMR Berghofer’s Statistical Genetics Group, Associate Professor Stuart MacGregor said the findings were conclusive.

“Using a genetic-based approach to assess whether coffee increases cancer risk is a really powerful approach, and we’ve used it to show that ultimately your risk won’t be changed if you drink coffee,” Associate Professor Macgregor said.

“Genetics don’t lie. For other diseases, the jury’s still out — we need to do more work.

“What we found was that irrespective of specific compounds that were there, in terms of the relationship between the coffee they drink every day and whether they ultimately get cancer, we found that essentially there is no link.”

Previous studies have also shown various health benefits to drinking coffee, including a potential increase in life span.

Our home doctors recommend that you follow a balanced diet and drink coffee in moderation. Always contact your GP if you have any health concerns.