It kills the skin cancer cells caused by UVB radiation

By Stefan Anitei, Science Editor

April 22, Softpedia

In the vivid debate on whether coffee is good or bad for our health, here comes a new study coffee supporters can always use as a pro argument: in the case of mice, caffeine works like a "sun screen", protecting their skin against the harmful ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation and ultimately against skin cancer. In the study published in Cancer Research, the team of researchers also presents the mechanism behind this protection: caffeine activates a
process that removes skin cells with DNA affected by irradiation. When cells with defective DNA start multiplying, cancer sets in.

"The results of the present study provide a possible mechanism for earlier observations indicating that oral administration of caffeine inhibits ultraviolet light-induced skin cancer in mice," senior author Dr Allan H. Conney told Reuters Health.

The team delivered caffeine to the mice in their drinking water for 1 to 2 weeks before the animals were exposed to UVB, in doses comparable to humans drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee daily. Caffeine was also ointed, mixed with cream or gel, directly to the skin soon after UVB radiation exposure. In both cases, the alkaloid killed the skin cells with impaired DNA.

"We believe that these results will extrapolate to humans but clinical studies need to be done. [Previous] studies indicate that coffee or tea drinkers have a lower risk of non-melanoma skin cancer," said Conney.

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photo by BeanMeUpCoffee