The latest news on caffeine and skin cancer

Food Facts came across some great information regarding caffeine intake and skin cancer that we wanted to make sure we brought to the attention of our community.

A new study published here in the United States has linked the increase of caffeine a person’s diet with a lower risk of basil cell carcinoma.  Basil cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer.  The study included over 110,000 people and was published in early July in the journal Cancer Research.

Dr. Jiali Han, an associate professor with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston and the Harvard School of Public Health went on record saying:   “I would not recommend increasing your coffee intake based on these data alone.”  However, he did add that basal cell carcinoma is just one of a growing list of diseases that appear to be positively affected by increasing coffee/caffeine intake.  That list includes diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

Most skin cancers  treated in the U.S. are basal cell skin cancers.  This is the type that begins in the epidermis (the skin’s top layer) and results from regular exposure to ultraviolet radiation.  Basal Cell Carcinoma is a slow-growing cancer which is not life-threatening.   However, it still requires costly treatment.  Any finding that helps prevent the disease can have a positive effect on the public health and our over-burdened health care system.

There were 112,897 people taking part in the health study.  Of those participants a little over 22,700 developed basal cell carcinoma during the 20 years of follow up involved in the study.

It was found that the more caffeine participants consumed, the lower their risk of developing Basal Cell Carcinoma.   They then ranked the study participants according to their caffeine consumption and found that in the case of women, the top 20% of consumers had an 18% lower risk of developing the cancer than the bottom 20%.  The risk was lower for men by 13%

For coffee specifically, it was found that women drinking 3 cups of coffee per day had a 21% lower risk of developing the skin cancer and risk for men was 10% lower.  Caffeine from other food and beverage sources were found to have a similar effect.   The consumption of decaffeinated coffee, however did not correspond to a similar decrease in risk.

It was noted that more study is needed that will include different populations.  It is also important to note that the increase of caffeine consumption showed no effect on developing other forms of skin cancer.

Food Facts thinks that the ability to help prevent Basal Cell Carcinoma through an increase in caffeine is just one of the first steps of many to discovering how food and ingredients both positively and negatively can affect our health.  Stay informed.  It makes a world of difference.

Read more at:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/247423.php