Another reason to drink your morning coffee

January 03, 2012
Volume 09    |   Issue 01

If you like coffee and healthy skin, you’re going to love this news.

Researchers have been finding new and wonderful uses for coffee. They’ve found that it has some very health-giving attributes. It’s a powerful antioxidant, so it’s no wonder it protects against disease. And, in recent years, they’ve found that it’s great for your skin.

In fact, coffee is now an ingredient in many natural skin care products. Its antioxidant properties keep your skin healthy. And it also protects your skin from ultraviolet light. But there’s more. New research suggests the coffee you drink may protect you from skin cancer as well.

This new study found that the more coffee you drink, the lower your risk for developing basal cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma is a common type of skin cancer. Fortunately, it’s not usually fatal and it’s relatively easy to treat. But it’s better to avoid all cancer, especially one that can be disfiguring.

Basal cell carcinoma usually starts off as a simple sore. This sore will bleed, and then scab up. After it gets better, it will usually return and start bleeding again. They typically appear on the neck and face. But you can get them on other parts of your body as well. These cancers rarely spread to other parts of your body.

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The study came from a team of researchers that gathered data from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (PFS). The NHS study followed 72,921 individuals between June 1984 and June 2008. The PFS followed 39,976 people from June 1986 to June 2008.

Of these more than 100,000 people, there were 25,480 cases of skin cancer. Most of those (22,786) were basal cell carcinoma. The rest were either squamous cell (1,953) or melanoma (741). Here’s what the researchers found: The women who drank at least three cups of coffee a day were 20% less likely to get basal cell carcinoma. It lowered a man’s risk by only 9%.

The researchers said, “Given the nearly one million new cases of basal cell carcinoma diagnosed each year in the United States, daily dietary factors with even small protective effects may have great public health impact. Our study indicates that coffee consumption may be an important option to help prevent basal cell carcinoma.”

I agree. You can overdo coffee — too much caffeine can give you the jitters and other problems. But drinking two to three cups a day can give you loads of antioxidants to fight cancer. So enjoy your morning joe — and fight cancer at the same time. Just make sure you use healthy creams (such as almond milk) and sweeteners (such as stevia) so you don’t make a healthy drink unhealthy.

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