Health Benefits of Coffee Consumption for Cancer and Other Diseases and Mechanisms of Action

Stephen Safe, Jainish Kothari, Amanuel Hailemariam, Srijana Upadhyay, Laurie A. Davidson, Robert S. Chapkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages worldwide, and epidemiology studies associate higher coffee consumption with decreased rates of mortality and decreased rates of neurological and metabolic diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes. In addition, there is also evidence that higher coffee consumption is associated with lower rates of colon and rectal cancer, as well as breast, endometrial, and other cancers, although for some of these cancers, the results are conflicting. These studies reflect the chemopreventive effects of coffee; there is also evidence that coffee consumption may be therapeutic for some forms of breast and colon cancer, and this needs to be further investigated. The mechanisms associated with the chemopreventive or chemotherapeutic effects of over 1000 individual compounds in roasted coffee are complex and may vary with different diseases. Some of these mechanisms may be related to nuclear factor erythroid 2 (Nrf2)-regulated pathways that target oxidative stress or pathways that induce reactive oxygen species to kill diseased cells (primarily therapeutic). There is evidence for the involvement of receptors which include the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and orphan nuclear receptor 4A1 (NR4A1), as well as contributions from epigenetic pathways and the gut microbiome. Further elucidation of the mechanisms will facilitate the potential future clinical applications of coffee extracts for treating cancer and other inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2706
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 31 2023


  • AH receptor
  • Nrf2
  • coffee
  • health
  • redox
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Humans
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/prevention & control
  • Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Coffee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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