Few cups of coffee a day keeps skin cancer away: Study

Few cups of coffee a day keeps skin cancer away: Study

New findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reveals that caffeine consumption could decrease the risk of skin cancer. According to lead author Erikka Loftfield, consuming four or more cups of coffee per day is associated with about a 20% reduced risk of malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Loftfield is a doctoral student at the Yale University School of Public Health and is working on her dissertation at the US National Cancer Institute.

Loftfield and her team pulled data from a huge study run jointly by the National Institutes of Health and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

A food questionnaire was sent to 3.5 million AARP members in six different states, including California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania as well as two cities, Atlanta and Detroit.

The researchers tracked 447,357 men and women for an average of 10 years. The analysis took into account factors that might have affected the result, including smoking, alcohol intake, smoking history and physical activity. All participants were also cancer-free when they filled out the questionnaire.

The findings reveal that people who drank one to three cups a day had 10 percent decreased risk of melanoma when compared with individuals who drank none.

They also found a trend toward more protection with higher intake. Those who drank four or more cups a day were found to be 20% less likely to suffer from the illness.

Previous studies have also indicated that caffeine helps protect skin cells against ultraviolet-B radiation.

However, researchers mentioned that these findings specifically apply to caffeinated coffee, not decaf.

Loftfield said, "The main message really is that sun and ultraviolet radiation exposure are the major risk factors for melanoma. It is important to study other factors to better understand the cause of this disease, but we must keep these major risk factors in mind".

Houston News

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