Does your near-religious coffee-drinking habit make you feel more guilty than it does good?
It doesn't have to be this way anymore - new research from the National Cancer Institute has revealed that drinking coffee may lower your risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Keep reading to find out just how much coffee you need to drink to reap the skin cancer-fighting benefits…
Study links four cups of caffeinated coffee a day to a 20% lower risk of skin cancer
For their study, the researchers tracked the coffee-drinking habits and skin cancer
rates of nearly 450,000 adults over age 50. They found that coffee drinkers were less likely to be diagnosed with malignant melanoma
than non-coffee drinkers.
Furthermore, the researchers found that people who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of skin cancer! Decaffeinated coffee didn’t offer any significant skin cancer benefit.
These results didn’t change after they adjusted for factors like age, BMI, physical activity, UV exposure, smoking history and alcohol intake. So what’s the connection between coffee and skin cancer?
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Coffee is loaded with compounds that appear to suppress UV-induced tumour growth
Your morning cuppa contains compounds like caffeine and polyphenols, which are associated with the suppression of UV-induced tumour
growth. Plus, the bean-roasting process stimulates the formation of B vitamins that might offer further protection against tumours formation, according to the researchers.
All this aside, it’s important to note that drinking lots of caffeine can lead to restlessness, irritability, headaches and even anxiety
. In some people, it even amps up the production of cortisol – the stress
hormone – which can lead to digestive problems, weight gain and heart disease
For these reasons, Jacqui Justice, MS, CNS, nutrition director at New York Health & Wellness Center in the United States, suggests sticking with just one or two cups of coffee per day to prevent skin cancer.