Drinking coffee MAY reduce your risk of a common type of skin cancer (BCC)…

The Los Angeles Times (October 25, Brown) “Booster Shots” blog reports that according to research presented yesterday at the American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, “drinking coffee was associated with decreased risk of a common and slow-growing form of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma (BCC).” After “examining data from the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed 72,921 people between 1984 and 2008, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which followed 39,976 people between 1986 and 2008,” researchers found that “women who drank more than three cups of coffee had a 20% reduction in risk for basal cell carcinoma.”

“Men who drank more than three cups of coffee benefited from a 9% reduction in risk of this type of skin cancer,” WebMD (Oct 25, Warner) reports. However, “drinking decaffeinated coffee did not have any effect on skin cancer risk, which leads researchers to suspect caffeine is the key ingredient.” Researchers are now “also looking into whether caffeine should be added to sunscreen to increase its effectiveness against skin cancer.”

HealthDay (October 25, Reinberg) noted, “The amount of caffeine consumption was inversely associated with risk,” the study’s lead author pointed out, “meaning the more coffee consumed, the lower the risk of skin cancer.” Still, “the study could not prove cause-and-effect…and at this point the finding remains an association only.”

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