Coffee can cut skin cancer risk

Washington: A new study finds a possible link between coffee and a reduced risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Coffee may help prevent skin cancer.
Coffee may help prevent skin cancer.

Just a single cup of coffee a day could help ward off skin cancer, said the study. Four cups daily, however, would be the most protective against malignant melanoma, said researchers.

This is the most deadly form of the cancer, which usually starts in a mole and is triggered by short, sharp bursts of sunlight, such as on holiday.

The study was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers examined food and cancer information from about half a million people who were part of a National Institutes of Health-AARP study. They found those who drank more than four cups of coffee per day had a 20 percent lower risk of developing melanoma over the course of a decade.

The study surveyed over an average of 10 years. Those who drank coffee were associated with a decreased risk of developing melanoma skin cancer. They found those who drank four or more cups of joe a day were 20 percent less likely to develop melanoma.

Melanoma skin cancer is mainly caused by exposure to UV radiation. This can be through natural sunlight or the artificial light used in sunbeds.

The findings builds on a 2007 study published by Dr Ernest Abel, which found that risk of non-melanoma skin cancer also fell with increased coffee consumption.

Decaffeinated coffee had no affect on the risk of skin cancer in both studies.

However, the study says that additional investigation is needed. It is also worth bearing in mind that whilst caffeine may help against harmful UV rays, the NHS warns against high caffeine intake, as it can cause high blood pressure.

Inputs with CNN