Here’s the latest health news that you can use to justify your ridiculous caffeine addiction: A new study suggests that drinking coffee could reduce the risk of developing melanomathe fifth most common cancer and the leading cause of skin cancer death in the U.S.—by as much as 20%. But, please, don’t go and drink a cappuccino instead of putting on SPF 30 (that would be unwise).

To conduct the study, researchers from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and the Yale School of Public Health looked at 447,357 participant’s coffee intake. The incidence of melanoma among subjects was tracked over an average of 10.5 years. According to The Los Angeles Times, “Over this period, 2,905 test subjects developed melanoma.”

The findings: The more coffee participants drank each day, the less likely they were to develop melanoma. Drinking four cups a day was associated with a 20% lower risk. L.A. Times writer Samantha Bonar explains,

“According to the study, bioactive compounds in coffee suppress UVB-induced skin cancer by protecting against oxidative stress and DNA damage in cells and by reducing inflammation in epidermal cells. And caffeine, the researchers say, taken both orally and applied topically, has been shown to absorb ultraviolet radiation, ‘functioning as a sunscreen.'”

Still, the researchers emphasize that the most important thing that individuals can do to reduce their risk of melanoma is to reduce sun and UV radiation exposure.” We recommend you continue using sunscreen and pounding two to three caffeinated beverages daily—you know, for health reasons.


[via L.A. Times]