Coffee is turning out to be the wonder drug we’ve always wanted. Only last week, a new study was released that said that a regular, daily intake of coffee could ward off liver cancer in alcoholics. Now, it seems, that sun worshippers who also consume a generous daily amount of coffee can also ward off skin cancer.
A new study put together by the NIH-AARP, found that coffee consumption has a protective quality against malignant melanoma skin cancer.
The study collected data from more than 447,000 men who participated in an overall diet and health study put together by the NIH-AARP. The participants completed a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire in 1995-1996, with a median follow-up of 10 years. The subjects in the study were all cancer-free when the study started, and the authors adjusted for ambient residential ultraviolet radiation exposure, body mass index, age, sex, physical activity, alcohol intake, and smoking history.
Overall, the highest coffee intake was inversely associated with a risk of malignant melanoma, with a 20 percent lower risk for those who consumed four cups per day or more. The more coffee an individual drank, the more protection from skin cancer they seemed to have, with the protective effect increasing from one or fewer cups to four or more. However, the effect was statistically significant for caffeinated but not decaffeinated coffee and only for protection against malignant melanoma.
The researchers point out that the results are early and may not be applicable to other populations, and therefore additional investigations of coffee intake are needed. However, they conclude that even if a generous daily intake of coffee only results in modest protective effects, it still may have a meaningful impact on melanoma morbidity.
The complete results of the study were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.