Coffee Protects Against Cancer

  • Author: Lisa-Marie Rauschendorfer
  • Published: 20 September 2013
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research/Wiley-VCH
thumbnail image: Coffee Protects Against Cancer

Aflatoxin B1 is one of the most potent carcinogens in human foods. It induces damage to the DNA and this damage is considered to play a key role in the induction of tumors and in particular liver cancer. Aflatoxin B1 is a myotoxin from the mold fungus and is highly prevalent in China and Central Africa. In order to protect humans against the consequences of Aflatoxin B1, strong efforts have been made to identify compounds with chemopreventive properties in the diet.


Siegfried Knasmüller and colleagues, Medical University of Vienna, Austria, investigated the protective properties of coffee. For this purpose three different brews were fed to rats, which were subsequently treated with Aflatoxin B1. After ten weeks their livers were examined for Aflatoxin B1 induced damage to the DNA and the activity of drug metabolizing enzymes were monitored.

Results show, that consumption of coffee reduces the Aflatoxin B1 induced damage to DNA in liver cells and that caffeine plays an important role in this regard. This is in accordance with epidemiological studies, which show, that coffee consumption is inversely related to the incidence of liver cancer.


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