Coffee reduces skin cancer

2011-08-16 08:12

Washington - Coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer by helping kill off damaged cells that could otherwise turn into tumours, according to a US study published on Monday.

The findings indicate that moderate caffeine drinking, or perhaps even applying coffee to the skin, could be useful in warding off non-melanoma cancer, the most commonly diagnosed of all skin cancers.

Using mice that had been genetically altered to suppress a protein called ATR, researchers showed that the mice were able to fend off cancer even when exposed to ultraviolet light.

Previous studies have suggested that drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee per day has the effect of suppressing ATR and triggering the die-off of cells harmed by UV rays.

The altered mice eventually did develop cancer, but three weeks later than normal mice.

After 19 weeks of ultraviolet light exposure, the engineered mice showed 69% fewer tumours and four times fewer invasive tumours than the control group.

However, the protective effects only went so far. After 34 weeks of UV exposure, all the mice developed tumours.

"Eventually, if you treat them long enough, the mice will develop cancer so it is not 100% protection forever," Allan Coffey, one of the study's authors, told AFP.

ATR inhibitor

"Really, with almost any carcinogen, eventually all the animals will develop tumours."

Coffey and his team were able to confirm their hypothesis that caffeine - when consumed or applied to the skin - works by inhibiting ATR. Now they say more studies are needed to see how it may work on humans.

"We want to see whether caffeine has an effect in people when you give it topically," he said.

Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States, with more than one million new cases each year, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Non-melanoma types of skin cancer, including basal cell and squamous cell types, are the most commonly diagnosed and are often treatable if detected early.

Read more on:    us  |  research  |  cancer
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Must see! The most luxurious dog house!

This dog house comes with a treadmill and hot tub, you have to see it!

 
 

Luxury living

Exciting new luxury SUV arrives in SA!
WIN!
Ridiculous demands people with too much money make
8 of the priciest places to dock your yacht
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are a high flier with idealistic and set standards. There is a tendency to be too idealistic or fixed on one way and this can...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.