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dyobmit, Flickr

coffee
dyobmit, Flickr

If you’re one of those women people tease because you’re never seen without a Starbucks cup in your hand, you may actually be bettering your health. All that coffee might be warding off cancer.

Researchers at Harvard University who followed the medical records of more than 67,000 women over a 26-year period found that those who drank at least four cups of java per day had a 25 percent lower risk of developing endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus lining), with a seven percent decrease seen in those who drank two cups daily.

While this doesn’t prove coffee itself was the lone cancer-repellant, previous studies show the traditional morning beverage can lower levels of insulin and estrogen. Since chronically high levels of both hormones have been linked to endometrial cancer, there could be a cause-and-effect relationship.

One caveat: if you load up your coffee with cream and sugar, the extra calories and fat could result in insulin resistance and weight gain, thus negating any potential benefits.

The latest study isn’t the first to suggest coffee may have health benefits. Other research has shown it could lead to decreases in liver and prostate cancer, as well as a lower risk of depression, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and cirrhosis of the liver.

That said, doctors aren’t suggesting you should take up a coffee habit if you don’t already have one, as too much can cause insomnia, heartburn, heart palpitations, anxiety and irritability.

The best way to detect and prevent endometrial cancer is to watch for irregular menstrual bleeding. If it happens, put down the latte and consult your doctor.

[CNN Health]

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