Coffee and Tea drinking have been linked [perhaps a little tenuously at times] to a whole host of health benefits, like this, this, and this.
Well now we can add another one to that growing list.
It also turns out that coffee may prevent some cancer; on your skin; -seriously.
In a study of 400,000+ participants over about 10 years, taking into account diet and some environmental factors,
Drinking up to 3 cups of coffee a day was associated with a 10% reduction in skin-cancer.
+The deadliest-kind, too: melanoma.
Now, previous research has shown that coffee drinking could protect against other less deadly forms of skin cancer, by somehow mitigating the damage to skin cells,
But this new result on melanoma is something pretty extraordinary.
-Wait. It gets better.
People who drank 4 cups or more of coffee every day had doubled that benefit and had a 20% lower risk for melanoma.
Now, at the start of the study, all participants were cancer-free when they started the questionnaires.
And the stats they self-reported included body mass index, age, sex, physical activity, alcohol intake and smoking history.
(somehow, skin-tone/freckling & sunscreen use were not things researchers asked-for. And so to estimate people’s UV exposure, they used NASA data on the amount of sunlight in each participant’s general area.)
And the results persisted even after the docs had controlled for all of those variables.
Now even though there was a previous study to suggest caffeine-involvement, Loftfield’s team say they are not yet sure of where the exact benefits come from and if the coffee Must be caffeinated or if decaf works as-well.
Since it turned out all their subjects drank caffeinated, Decaf’s absence just might be up to chance.
But the fine-grained biochemistry will be harder to figure out, and Erikka’s team has set their sights on that to study next.
It’s important to remember that even though coffee has antioxidants in it, the study only showed a Correlation between coffee consumption and decreased melanoma risk. It did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
That would have required a different structure, like a clinical trial.
More good news? The US is already a nation of coffee consumers, perhaps only second to Sweden. Over 50 percent us drink an average of 3 cups daily. So there’s a good chance you may have some of this protection already.
One of the important takeaways is that since melanoma is so lethal, it might be a good idea to drink coffee if you don’t already, just on the off-chance it might help. Because any lower chance at-all of getting something so serious is always a good thing.
-And here’s another idea: Just in-case it’s not only coffee itself, but things that turn that cocoa/mahogany shade of brown when they’re roasted, why not add some more black tea, dark chocolate, cocoa & other dark-roasted food items to the diet, too?
Obviously, since it’s most-closely-correlated with UV exposure, the most important action of all toward preventing malignant skin-cancers is to avoid that exposure, then if you must go out, use sunscreen, cover up & wear a hat with a brim.
Check out the rest of the details at the Links:
JUMP BONUS!: A smaller study published in July, 2014 showed that combined-consumption drinkers of Both Coffee & Tea in the high caffeine group had a 43% lower risk of skin-cancer than non-consumers, so that might support the caffeine idea even more.
“coffee”, by Eziquel Boita
“Shy Sea Lion”, by Andrew Brigmond
• Source: JNCI-Coffee May Be Associated With a Lower Risk of Malignant Melanoma
• via: CBSNews
• MoreCoverage: NIH MedLinePlus
• Source Study: JNCI-Coffee Drinking and Cutaneous Melanoma Risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study | PDF
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