Coffee Counteracts Skin Cancer
- 1 Coffee Counteracts Skin Cancer
- 1.1 Caffeine works at the molecular level
- 1.2 Not a cure for skin cancer
Coffee counteracts skin cancer!
New US studies show how caffeine from e.g. Coffee fights skin cancer. Researchers is positive in regards to this news.
It doesn’t really matter if the cup contains coffee, cola or other caffeinated drinks. New research shows that it is all a good supplement to sunscreen and summer hats because caffeine has an inhibitory effect on the development of skin cancer.
Researchers have long pointed out that caffeine counteracts several types of cancer. Among other things, a major US study of over 94,000 people in 2007 found that a daily cup of caffeinated coffee was associated with a five percent reduction in the incidence of skin cancer.
However, the cause of the caffeine’s inhibitory effect has so far been unknown, but now researchers from the University of Washington and several American cancer research institutes have been investigating the caffeine’s anticancer properties.
Caffeine works at the molecular level
The researchers have found that caffeine fights skin cancer on a molecular level.
When cells in the skin are damaged by UV radiation from the sun or the solarium, the body initiates a repair procedure. Damaged cells in the body must either be repaired or killed so that they do not damage the body in the long run. When the body chooses to discard a damaged cell, it is called programmed cell death.
However, this cell death is compounded by certain molecules in the body, especially a protein called ATR. This protein slows down the body’s attempt to discard the damaged cells and will instead try to repair the cell. When the damaged cell is allowed to stay in the body, the risk of developing skin cancer increases.
Caffeine inhibits ATR
In their studies, US scientists have used mice that have been exposed to constant UV radiation. Some of the mice received caffeine in their drinking water, which led to the development of tumors three weeks later than the mice that did not receive caffeine.
By examining the mice, the researchers found that caffeine inhibits the ATR protein, making it harder to slow the body’s programmed cell death. Thus, the body succeeds in killing the damaged cells, which minimizes the risk of developing cancer.
Interestingly, ATR protein plays a role
Bo Bang, who is a Ph.D. and chief physician at Bispebjerg Hospital, and has researched UV radiation and programmed cell death, is positively voting on the results of American scientists.
“The studies are interesting, first and foremost, because the researchers have proven that the ATR protein plays an important role in the development of skin cancer. That has not been focused on before. “
“Next, it is interesting that caffeine appears to have an inhibitory effect on the protein. The results with the mice show that it has an effect, ”says Bo Bang.
Not a cure for skin cancer
However, researchers’ new discoveries should not be seen as a cure for skin cancer. Studies show that mice develop tumors sooner or later, even if they have had caffeine. After 34 weeks of constant UV irradiation, all mice had developed tumors.
Caffeine can thus slow down the development of cancer, but not completely remove it.
According to Bo Bang, caffeine should be seen as a preventative. Caffeine could perhaps be used in e.g. sunscreen.
“You could try adding caffeine to sunscreen and see if it brought down ATR levels,” Bo Bang thinks.
The studies have just been published in the reputed journal PNAS.