Monday, September 1, 2008

JJNN Monday: Science - 05

Welcome again to JJNN for Monday September 1st, 2008. Today we will be taking about cancer and coffee.

Personally, I really don't like coffee. I only drink it when I am really tired or I really need some quick caffeine. I don't like the taste and I don't want to even think of drinking. That was why I was surprised when I read this news story.

Scientists working for the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have found a connection between drinking coffee and the prevention of endometrial cancer. Endometrial cancer is a cancer to the lining of the uterus. This type of cancer is a major heath problem for older women all over the world.

The team of scientists have been sending out questionnaires for the past 15 years. About 54000 woman from age 40 to 69 sent in their answers. This information was used to try to link coffee intake in the woman that do and do not get this type of cancer. The results they found were surprising. You can see them below.

The height of the bar is equal to the risk for endometrial cancer. The meaning of the bars (from left to right) are, less than 2 cups of coffee a week, one or two cups of coffee a day, and 3 cups or more of coffee a day. The scientists set less than 2 cups of coffee a week as a risk level of one to make it the watermark for the experiment. They found that the chances of a woman getting this cancer if they drink one or two cups of coffee a day goes down to 0.61. Also if they drink 3 or more cups the chances go down to 0.38.

This is great news. An easy and quick way to avoid a nasty type of cancer that a lot of people like to do any way. But, this leaves the question: why does this work? Well, many people believe that this type of cancer is set into being by an over abundance of estrogen and insulin. Coffee seems to have what it takes to put these two chemicals back into harmony so they don't end up triggering the cancer.

As a side note, scientists have found that heavy coffee drinkers also are at a lower risk for liver cancer. Maybe I should start drinking coffee after all...

Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is コーヒー(こおひい). It is pronounced koohii and means coffee. Personally I am more of a green tea man.

That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.

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