Need one more reason to drink coffee – it could save you from skin cancer. Well, if a new study is to be believed then drinking coffee can reduce the risk of a person getting malignant melanoma.
Melanoma can spread from skin to other organs. It occurs when certain skin cells begin to grow abnormally. It appears in the form of a mole or changes the appearance of an already-existing mole. Of course hereditary factors also count for increased risk and also certain factors such as presence of moles, pale skin, hair color (red, blonde) among others.
It was considered a rare type of cancer, but now frequent cases are reported at an alarming rate and it is now quite common. Therefore, new research on melanoma is always welcome. And if lowering its risk means drinking more coffee, then why not?
So is it goodbye sunscreen?
Coffee helps. But hold it before you head off to the beach with just your cup of java assuming that it gives you freedom from sunscreen. The study, which was published recently in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute states that drinking at least four cups of coffee is what will get you the results. This means at least 20 percent less chance of developing malignant melanoma. The study was conducted in America at the National Cancer Institute (Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics). This study was prompted from some previous research that hinted at coffee consumption lowering risks of non-melanoma cancers.
But the study, more than negating the use of sunscreens, states that drinking four or even more cups of coffee might not be bad and can actually do you some good. But decaf is useless here. You need to drink at least four, preferably more cups of caffeinated coffee.
So what is the caveat?
The caveat is that there are other factors involved in determining cancer risks along with coffee consumption. The team studied data from a previous research that began in 1995 on malignant melanoma and used it to evaluate the correlation between the disease and coffee consumption.
In addition to coffee consumption, participants in this new study were also asked about other contributing factors that can increase cancer risk such as their age, gender, diet, alcohol consumption, smoking habits, BMI and exercise routines. The subjects didn’t have cancer at the start of the research and researchers accounted for their UV ray exposure depending upon where they lived. Accounting for these factors, the new research revealed that drinking a minimum of four cups of coffee indeed lowered the risk of malignant melanoma.
But the research is still in the preliminary stage and needs further study. This also doesn’t apply to in situ melanoma ie early stages of the disease. But the research is bound to hold some merit for coffee consumption for reducing the risk of melanoma. So enjoy your coffee – guilt free. But do account for sleepless nights with all that caffeine! And don’t forget to stay safe in the sun.