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Coffee may protect against some skin cancers

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A new study suggests that drinking coffee on a regular basis may protect individuals against malignant melanoma, a leading cause of skin-cancer death.

Avid drinkers of coffee, those who take four or more cups daily, were 20 percent less likely to develop malignant melanoma than non-coffee consumers, according to a study published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) on Tuesday.

The study showed that 55.9 cases of melanoma per 100,000 people were reported yearly among those who drank at least four cups of coffee a day, versus 77.64 cases among the people who did not consume the beverage.

“Our results, and some from other recent studies, should provide reassurance to coffee consumers that drinking coffee is not a risky thing to do… However, our results do not indicate that individuals should alter their coffee intake,” said study researcher and doctoral student at the Yale School of Public Health, Erikka Loftfield.

Researchers looked at data from the National Institutes of Health and the American Association of Retired Persons to evaluate the relationship between melanoma and coffee drinking.

The study focused on retired people, who reported their coffee consumption and other factors that might influence their cancer risk, including exercise, alcohol intake and body-mass index.

The researchers plan to conduct more studies in other groups of people.

Despite the controversies about the health benefits of coffee, a number of studies have shown that drinking coffee in moderation can protect the individual against heart disease and several other health disorders.

Caffeine in coffee can also improve mental and cognitive functions through stimulating many regions of the brain that regulate wakefulness, arousal, mood and concentration.

Consuming two to four cups of the drink per day is linked with lowered risk of heart disease or dying from other causes, including stroke and cancer, by 20 percent.


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