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A team of scientists from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and researchers from the Yale School of Public Health, discovered that the more coffee people consume, the more the risk of developing melanoma decreases.
The researchers gathered data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. This included data from 447,357 non-Latino white participants who at the beginning of the study did not have cancer.
The participants had to complete a questionnaire when the study started, in which they had to answer what food they ate and how much coffee they drank.
The researchers then tracked the participants’ health state for more than 10 years to see if any of them will develop melanoma. Over this time period, 2,905 participants to the study had developed melanoma, which is the fifth most common type of cancer, and one of the leading causes of skin cancer deaths across the United States.
The study showed that the more coffee the participants drank on a daily basis, the risks of developing melanoma were decreasing.
Drinking an average of four cups of coffee per day was associated with a 20% lower risk of developing this form of skin cancer.
The results were consistent regardless of the participants’ sex, age, body mass index, smoking history, alcohol intake and UV radiation exposure, which is the main risk factor that leads to developing skin cancer.
The researchers said that the results only applied to the participants who drank caffeinated coffee, not decaf.
According to the researchers, coffee contains bioactive compounds that can suppress skin cancer by protecting the cells against oxidative stress and the damage of DNA. Coffee can reduce inflammation in the epidermal cells because of its rich content of anti-inflammatory compounds.
Also, the study revealed that caffeine, when applied topically or taken orally, can absorb the UV radiation and acts like a natural sunscreen against the dangerous sun exposure.
Scientists advice that in order to reduce the risk of melanoma, one must avoid too much sun and UV exposure.
Image Source: weeksmd