Originally published February 5 2015
Drinking coffee can naturally cut melanoma risk by 20%
by Jennifer Lilley
(NaturalNews) The leading cause of skin-cancer death in the United States, melanoma, may be prevented by engaging in a habit that's familiar to millions of Americans. The act of drinking coffee might offer protection against the devastating illness, according to a study conducted by researchers from Yale University and the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).(1,2)
To conduct the study, the experts reviewed data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, which involved nearly 450,000 cancer-free patients. Over the course of more than 10 years, their food intake, which included coffee consumption, was reviewed. So too was their incidence of melanoma. Nearly 3,000 participants had developed melanoma during this time frame. However, it was discovered that, overall, those who drank more coffee daily were less likely to develop the condition during follow-up periods. A 20 percent lowered melanoma risk, for example, was linked to those who consumed four cups of coffee daily.(2)
Coffee has "bioactive compounds" that may reduce melanoma riskConsidering that America loves its coffee, this is good news. A great deal of people enjoy their cup of joe; more than half of Americans are said to enjoy an average of over three cups per day.(2)
However, this isn't to say that people should engage in unhealthy skin behaviors so long as they have their favorite coffee by their side.
Erikka Loftfield, a graduate student at the Yale School of Public Health stressed this point, saying, "The most important thing a person can do to reduce risk is to reduce sun and ultraviolet light exposure."(3)
The study, titled "Coffee Drinking and Cutaneous Melanoma Risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study," was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It states:
Cutaneous melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the United States. Modifiable risk factors, with the exception of exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), are poorly understood. Coffee contains numerous bioactive compounds and may be associated inversely with melanoma.(4)
The study concludes:
Higher coffee intake was associated with a modest decrease in risk of melanoma in this large US cohort study. Additional investigations of coffee intake and its constituents, particularly caffeine, with melanoma are warranted.(4)
Other findings show health benefits of drinking coffeeWhile it suggests that other studies are needed in this particular instance, several other findings outside of this study support coffee's health benefits.
For example, consumption of it has been linked to lessening the risk of a kind of primary liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma. In some cases, it was found to decrease that particular risk by up to 50 percent in those who drank three cups daily. Drinking the beverage has also been associated with achieving other positive health benefits, including reduced risk of oral cancer, endometrial cancer and prostate cancer.(5)
According to the Mayo Clinic, melanoma is the "most serious" form of skin cancer and is showing a trend toward increased incidences mainly in women under the age of 40. As with most conditions, they explain that early detection is the best prevention, so be sure to engage in routine self-checks on your skin and speak to a medical professional about any concerning changes in the skin's appearance. A weak immune system, fair skin, past sunburns and a family history of melanoma are some risk factors that can contribute to its development.(6,7)
Don't care for coffee? Enjoy these skin-saving foodsIn addition to a few cups of coffee, one might also consider eating skin-saving health foods.
Healthy fats such as those found in walnuts, salmon and olive oil are thought to extend skin's health. Other foods that help reduce the risk or recurrence of skin cancer include peaches, avocado, red bell peppers, winter squash and berries. They all contain cancer-preventing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.(8)
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