Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School have found that there seems to be a relationship between increased coffee intake (meaning the more, the better) and decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma — the most common skin cancer.
“Our results add basal cell carcinoma to a list of conditions for which risk is decreased with increasing coffee consumption,” study researcher Jiali Han, Ph.D., an associate professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston and Harvard School of Public Health, said in a statement. “This list includes conditions with serious negative health consequences such as Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.”
Researchers not only found a link between increased coffee consumption and decreased skin cancer risk — for example, women who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had a lower risk of skin cancer than people who drank less than a cup of coffee a month — but also a link between overall increased caffeine consumption (like from coffee, soda, chocolate and tea) and decreased skin cancer risk. Meanwhile, there was no link between decaffeinated coffee consumption and risk of the skin cancer.
In addition, there was no link was identified between increased coffee or caffeine consumption and squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma, which are two other kinds of skin cancer.
“These results really suggest that it is the caffeine in coffee that is responsible for the decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma associated with increasing coffee consumption,” Han said in the statement. “This would be consistent with published mouse data, which indicate caffeine can block skin tumor formation. However, more studies in different population cohorts and additional mechanistic studies will be needed before we can say this definitively.”
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