Coffee consumption and cancer at other sites – Part 1

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This is the sixth of six blog posts on the topic of coffee consumption and cancer research, concentrating on the impact of coffee consumption and cancer at a selection of sites. Coffee and Health also houses current scientific information on a wide range of other coffee-related topics.

Following is an overview of research conducted in this area.

No link between coffee drinking and skin cancer

Research does not link coffee consumption with skin cancer. However, two studies show that caffeine may protect cancer cells against the harmful effects of UVB radiation.

A 2008 study in mice reports that caffeine added to drinking water, or placed directly onto the skin, induces death of cells damaged by UVB irradiation.

A more recent similar study in human skin cell cultures shows a doubling of the mortality rate of cells damaged by UVBs, which may decrease cancer risk. The authors hypothesise that caffeine, or a substance with a similar mode of action, may protect human skin from the harmful effects of UVBs when applied topically.

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