Drinking Coffee Decreases Risk of Common Skin Cancer
Analysis of data from two large studies show that people who drink about 3 cups of coffee per day are less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer, than those who drink less than one cup a month. Researchers also found that caffeine consumption from other sources such as tea, soda or chocolate is also linked to a decreased risk of skin cancer, but this was not statistically significant.
The investigators used data from two separate studies which both began in 1976. The Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) included more than 121,000 women ages 30 to 55 while the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) enrolled more than 50,000 men ages 40 to 75. The participants provided information on their caffeine intake in more than 22 years of follow-up. During the duration of the study more than 22,000 participants developed basal cell carcinoma.
Analysis of the data showed that the risk for developing this type of skin cancer was significantly reduced (17%) for those who took the most caffeine from all sources. It was found that coffee consisted of most caffeine intake (78%), and when analyzed alone, it accounted for a significant decrease in risk for skin cancer.
One in five white Americans have a lifetime risk of developing skin cancer, and it is the most common malignancy in the US. Previous studies have shown that caffeine has a possible role in the prevention of the disease. This study shows that modest caffeine consumption may be a significant protective effect against basal cell carcinoma type of skin cancer.
Bankhead, C. Caffeine May Lower Risk of Common Skin Cancer. Medpage Today.