Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a public health problem worldwide, and despite technological advances in diagnosis and treatment, its incidence and mortality continue to increase. In recent decades, considerable efforts have been made in evaluating natural dietary compounds as chemopreventive agents that help reduce the risk of cancer development, progression, or recurrence. Coffee is of particular interest as it has a high content of bioactive compounds, and there is strong epidemiological evidence that it has a protective effect against CRC. Here, we review the most abundant phytochemicals found in coffee [caffeine, chlorogenic acids (CGAs), cafestol, and kahweol] and their contribution to chemoprevention of CRC, as reported in in vitro studies and in animal studies. The literature shows that the chemopreventive effect of coffee is largely attributed to CGAs and cafestol/kahweol, rather than caffeine, although caffeine may have a small cumulative effect.
cafestol, caffeine, chemoprevention, chlorogenic acid, colorectal cancer, coffee
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