New Study Shows Coffee Lessens Skin Cancer Risk

We’ve seen the studies that show how many cancers are fought by coffee: prostrate, breast, uterine, liver and colon. A US study published Monday and reported by showed that caffeinated coffee can cut the risk of another cancer, that of the skin. Apparently the caffeine is the necessary agent in coffee that if effective in destroying cancer cells. It seems that the caffeine suppresses a protein enzyme called ATR, which enables cancer cells to grow. The study involved mice who were exposed to UV light to bring about the cancer. The results after 19 weeks of UV exposure revealed 69% fewer tumors, plus four times fewer invasive tumors, than the control group. The downside was that the protection is somewhat temporary, as all of the mice exposed to the UV light did get cancer. The mechanism seems to be that when the ATR is suppressed - by the coffee - the immune system is better able to battle the cancer. The damaged cells are actually made to die, so they cannot transition into cancer cells. It was reported that the study’s researchers realize a human study needs to be conducted. Also, they want to give a closer look to the application of the caffeine directly to the skin. The findings are important because skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the US – about one million cases a year. Besides being instrumentally associated with fighting cancer, the caffeine also acts as a sunscreen and absorbs the damaging ultraviolet light. It wasn’t mentioned how the caffeine provides the sunscreen protection, but we do know there are many fruits and veggies that do help the skin avoid sunburn through their antioxidants.

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