Consumption of coffee in increasing number particularly the caffeinated one could lower the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, revealed a study by experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Basal cell carcinoma, though is slow-growing, but causes substantial morbidity and puts a burden on health care systems.
This form of skin cancer most frequently diagnosed in the US. A team led by Prof Jiali Han, Ph.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, examined the statistics from the Nurses’ Health Study, a large and long-running study, involving more than one hundred thousand participants. More than twenty-two thousand study participants developed basal cell carcinoma during follow-up of more than twenty years.
They found an inverse association between all coffee consumption and risk of basal cell carcinoma. In the same way, an inverse association was seen between intake of caffeine from all dietary sources such as tea, coffee, cola and chocolate and the risk of basal cell carcinoma. But, intake of decaffeinated coffee was not associated with a decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma.
Lead investigator Prof Han explained the study findings really suggest that it is the caffeine in coffee that is accountable for the decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma associated with increasing coffee consumption. This would be reliable with reported mice study, which indicates caffeine can block skin tumor formation.
However, more studies in different population sections and additional mechanistic studies will be needed before they can say this definitively. The study statistics indicate that the more caffeinated coffee you consume, the lower your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, added Prof Han. The study was published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.