Is that morning coffee helping you prevent skin cancer?

January 30, 2015
Volume 3    |   Issue 05

If your friends describe you as a coffee addict, I have good news for you. While you may think your multiple cups of joe are just helping you get through the day, a study conducted at Yale University has found additional benefits. In addition to keeping you awake in your afternoon meetings, that cup of coffee is also helping prevent skin cancer.

This study examined 447,000 non-Hispanic white participants. None of them had any cancer at the outset. They were asked to complete a questionnaire detailing their coffee intake. Then the researchers measured their incidence of melanoma over the next 10.5 years.

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During the course of the study, 2,905 participants developed melanoma skin cancer. They found that the more coffee participants drank, the lower their chances were of developing cutaneous melanoma. This is the fifth most common type of cancer in the U.S.

The researchers took U.V. exposure, age, gender, physical activity, and smoking history into account. And they found that the risk of developing melanoma dropped by 20% in people who drank at least four cups of coffee a day. Unfortunately, decaffeinated coffee did not have similar effects.

If you aren't a coffee drinker, don't jump right in with four cups daily. But if you do enjoy a few cups a day, you can enjoy knowing that it's helping protect your skin as well!

To your health, naturally,


E. Loftfield, N. D. Freedman, B. I. Graubard, A. R. Hollenbeck, F. M. Shebl, S. T. Mayne, R. Sinha. Coffee Drinking and Cutaneous Melanoma Risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2015; 107 (2): dju421 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/dju421.

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