Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Highly Active Compound Found In Coffee May Prevent Colon Cancer

Date:
October 15, 2003
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Drinking coffee may help prevent colon cancer, according to a group of researchers in Germany. They identified a potent antioxidant compound in the popular brew that appears in animal studies to boost the activity of phase II enzymes, which are thought to protect against colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Drinking coffee may help prevent colon cancer, according to a group of researchers in Germany. They identified a potent antioxidant compound in the popular brew that appears in animal studies to boost the activity of phase II enzymes, which are thought to protect against colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

The study is scheduled to appear in the Nov. 5 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Although researchers have suspected for years that coffee consumption may offer some protection against cancer as a result of the drink's high antioxidant content, this study represents the first time that a specific, highly active anticancer compound has been identified in the beverage, say study leaders Thomas Hofmann, Ph.D., professor and head of the Institute for Food Chemistry at the University of Mnster in Germany, and Veronika Somoza, Ph.D., deputy director of the German Research Center for Food Chemistry in Garching.

"Until human studies are done, no one knows exactly how much coffee is needed to have a protective effect against colon cancer," says Hofmann. "However, our studies suggest that drinking coffee may offer some protection, especially if it's strong." For example, expresso-type coffee contains about two to three times more of the anticancer compound than a medium roasted coffee beverage, he says.

The anticancer compound, called methylpyridinium, is found almost exclusively in coffee and coffee products but is not found in significant amounts in other foods and beverages, Hofmann says. Its anticancer activity was unknown until now, he adds.

Methylpyridinium is not present in raw coffee beans but is formed during the roasting process from its chemical precursor, trigonellin, which is common in raw coffee beans. It is present in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and even in instant coffee, says Hofmann.

To investigate the theory that coffee fights cancer, Hofmann and his associates prepared a conventional coffee beverage using roasted, decaffeinated beans from Columbia. Specially prepared extracts of the brew were then exposed to laboratory preparations of human intestinal cells for three days and results were compared to cells that were not exposed to coffee.

In the cell study, coffee extracts significantly boosted activity levels of phase II enzymes in a dose dependent manner, the researchers say. In other words, the higher the quantity of coffee, the higher the increase in the activity level of the enzymes. Analysis of the extract showed that the most active anticancer compound was methylpyridinium.

To determine whether the compound had a similar effect in living systems, a group of 24 rats was evenly divided into three groups and each group was fed either a standard diet, a diet mixed with coffee extract, or a standard diet containing pure methylpyridinium.

Blood tests showed that rats fed the coffee extract had a 24 to 40 percent increase in phase II enzyme activity compared to control animals. Pure methylpyridinium also significantly boosted the enzymes' activity levels. The results provide strong support for coffee as a cancer fighter in living systems, Hofmann and Somoza say.

The researchers plan to conduct additional tests in the future to determine whether methylpyridinium is an effective cancer fighter in humans and whether it has any side effects.

If you don't like coffee but still want its anticancer benefits, there may be an option in the future: A pill or dietary supplement enriched with methylpyridinium could one day be developed, the researchers predict.

Funding for this study was provided by the German research associations FEI (Research Association of the German Food Industry), AiF (German Federation of Industrial Research Associations) and the Ministry of Economics and Technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Highly Active Compound Found In Coffee May Prevent Colon Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031015031251.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2003, October 15). Highly Active Compound Found In Coffee May Prevent Colon Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031015031251.htm
American Chemical Society. "Highly Active Compound Found In Coffee May Prevent Colon Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031015031251.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins