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Coffee Shown to Help Protect Against Skin Cancer

Millions of Americans start their day with some sort of coffee drink. While the caffeine helps to perk up our mornings, it also has shown to have multiple health benefits such as helping to prevent many illness including type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and dementia. If you’re one of those who requires at least half a pot a day, new research in the Journal of the National Skin Institute suggests you may actually be protecting yourself against skin cancer.

The study observed 447,000 Americans for about ten years. Scientists found that those who drank coffee regularly tended to have a decreased risk for melanoma skin cancer. People who consumed four or more cups of coffee a day, were shown to be 20 percent less likely to develop the cancer. Melanoma comes from UV rays, mostly associated with exposure to sun or tanning beds. If not caught early, the cancer can be deadly. Despite being a less common type of skin cancer, it is responsible for nearly 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.

The new discovery is exciting for scientists as it correlates with a similar study from 2007. In this study, the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer was also lower among heavy coffee drinkers. Despite the excitement, more studies are needed before doctors begin describing caffeine to prevent those at risk for skin cancer. Perhaps though in the future we will find that those java fiends at the café all day were onto something.

There are certain health risks for some people when it comes to high caffeine consumption. People with pre-existing anxiety disorders may want to steer clear of coffee as it can be a trigger for panic. Others have claimed stomach upset and headaches due to caffeine use. It is important to remember that caffeine is a stimulant, and could be compared to illegal drugs as far as their effects. They may be much milder, but it is still possible to have a negative reaction. Know your body before beginning any sort of regiment, especially one that requires so many trips to the office break area.

The best way to prevent melanoma skin cancer is to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Where sunscreen every day, even if it is cold or cloudy. This is especially important on the face where UV rays can also cause signs of aging including wrinkles. While coffee may appear to be useful as well, stick to the basics just in case you aren’t ready to commit to four cups a day.

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