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Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer

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Numerous epidemiological studies have evaluated the association between coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and various cancers. This paper briefly reviews the evidence for a relation between coffee consumption and these conditions, with particular attention to methodological issues. Several early studies suggested that coffee consumption could result in a marked increase in risk of coronary heart disease and several types of cancer. However, more recent prospective cohort studies that are less prone to selection and information bias have not confirmed these findings. High consumption of unfiltered types of coffee, such as French press and boiled coffee, has been shown to increase low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations. In addition, limiting caffeinated coffee intake during pregnancy seems a prudent choice. However, evidence has been accumulating that frequent consumption of coffee may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. Further experimental studies are warranted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and possibly identify the components in coffee that are responsible for these putative effects. In sum, the currently available evidence on coffee and risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer is largely reassuring, and suggests that, for the general population, addressing other health-related behaviors has priority for the prevention of chronic diseases.

Plusieurs études épidémiologiques ont analysé la relation entre la consommation de café et le risque de diabète de type 2, de maladie coronarienne et de cancers divers. Cet article présente brièvement les faits concernant cette relation et porte une attention particulière aux approches méthodologiques utilisées. Quelques études rapportent une augmentation notable du risque de maladie coronarienne et de divers types de cancer et la consommation de café. Cependant, on peut relever des études prospectives qui ne confirment pas cette relation, car elles contrôlent davantage les agents d’invalidité tels la sélection et les biais dus à l’information. D’après des études, une forte consommation de café non filtré issu d’une cafetière à piston ou de café bouilli augmente la concentration de « low-density-lipoprotein » - cholestérol. De plus, consommer moins de café (avec caféine) durant la grossesse constituerait une pratique prudente. D’autre part, de plus en plus d’études rapportent une diminution du risque de diabète de type 2 et du cancer du foie avec la consommation fréquente de café. Il faut faire d’autres études expérimentales pour comprendre les mécanismes à la base de ces effets possibles et pour identifier dans le café les composantes responsables. Somme toute, selon la littérature scientifique, la relation entre la consommation de café et le risque de maladies cardiovasculaires et de cancer n’est pas fondée. La communauté scientifique devrait donc porter son attention sur d’autres comportements de la population en général associés à des risques de maladies chroniques.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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  • This bimonthly journal has a 30-year history of publishing, first as the Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences, and later as the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology. It publishes original research articles, reviews, and commentaries, focussing on the application of physiology, nutrition, and metabolism to the study of human health, physical activity, and fitness. The published research, reviews, and symposia will be of interest to exercise physiologists, physical fitness and exercise rehabilitation specialists, public health and health care professionals, as well as basic and applied physiologists, nutritionists, and biochemists.
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