Besides protecting alcoholics against liver cancer it seems that according to a new study coffee can also protect you against skin cancer. The study appeared in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The investigation was conducted by the NIH-AARP on 447.000 people. The participants involved in the study had to fill in a survey about food-frequency in 1995-96 followed up by a median 10 years after. The participants did not have cancer when the study started. Other factors taken into account in the research were sex, age, body mass index, ambient residential ultraviolet radiation exposure, physical activity, smoking history and alcohol intake.
The results of the research showed that the participants who had the highest intake of coffee had the lowest risk of malignant melanoma. Their risk of developing skin cancer was 20% lower than the case of those who drank only 4 more cups a day.
According to the research team those who drank more coffee were more protected against cancer. The protection increased from one cups to 4 more. Only the caffeinated coffee had a protective effect, decaffeinated coffee does not offer protection against skin cancer. Also caffeine offers protection only against malignant melanoma not for melanoma in-situ.
Stephen Hursting of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, one of the researchers, explains that coffee affects the liver enzymes which release carcinogens. Hillel Tobias of NYU Langone Medical Centre, says that this supports the researchers’ theory according to which obesity and liver cancer are closely linked.
Although the results of the study seem to be very promising, researchers drew attention to the fact that these results are early and the outcome may not be the same for other populations. Consequently additional analysis on coffee investigation needs to be conducted. Irrespective of that the researchers concluded that although the big amount of coffee which needs to be drank on a daily basis offers modest protective effects, the impact it has on melanoma morbidity is meaningful. Researchers also believe that adopting a healthier lifestyle can also help with the protection against melanoma risk.
Alice Bender, associate Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR makes some recommendations for an improved lifestyle such as:
“Being active every day, putting plenty of plant foods like fruits, vegetables and grains on your plate and limiting or avoiding alcohol. The good news is that these same strategies lower risk for many other common cancers and chronic diseases.”
Image Source: Smartcanucks
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