Coffee has been shown to reduce cancer risk. New research shows that a drinking coffee protects against skin cancer. The risk of developing a type of skin cancer called melanoma was markedly reduced in people who drank four cups of coffee a day. The research was conducted by studying food questionnaires from almost a half a million people. Those who reported themselves as high consumers of coffee had a 20% lower amount of skin cancers than the non-coffee drinkers. Only caffeinated coffee showed the beneficial effects. Roasting the coffee beans seems to release the nutrients that provide protection for the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Healthy ingredients in coffee
Numerous healthy ingredients in coffee might contribute to this healing effect. Coffee is high in polyphenols and caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to protect against ultraviolet light damage in other studies as well. Some think caffeine acts like a sunscreen on a cellular level. It’s thought that the caffeine protects the DNA by absorbing the ultraviolet rays. Further proof that the caffeine in the coffee contributes to the cancer protecting effect is that those who drank decaffeinated coffee in the study did not show the same risk reduction for skin cancer development.
Other health benefits of coffee
Other health benefits of coffee include lowering risk of hepatitis, liver fibrosis as well as diabetes. There are some indications that coffee also lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and again, the caffeine seems to be the active ingredient. Gout and osteoarthritis are also improved by drinking coffee. This effect is because coffee acts to lower the levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is the causative factor in gout. Decaffeinated coffee was found as effective as caffeinated coffee in reducing diabetes risk. For each cup of coffee, a seven percent reduction in diabetes risk occurs.
What to do?
Drink coffee. Feel free to imbibe four cups a day. And when you’re outdoors, wear a hat.