Another day, another study about coffee. But before all you skinny latte, iced macchiato or straight black java drinkers pull the covers over your head for fear of a report telling you how bad your morning habit is, fear not. A recent finding has shown that our coffee consumption may reduce the risk of skin cancer. Phew.
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston followed nearly 113,000 people over a 10 year period–some who drank coffee and others who didn’t. What they found was women who drank more than three cups a day were 20% less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma–a slow-growing form of skin cancer. At the same time, men who consumed the same amount had only a 9% reduction in their risk of the skin cancer. However, neither gender’s risk of melanoma– the most deadly form of skin cancer–was affected.
What’s interesting here is that we have repeatedly been told to drink coffee–and many other things–in moderation. But the women in the study who benefited the most drank three cups a day, hardly a moderate amount. This can add to the confusion about whether our morning cup is actually healthy for us or not. But mounting evidence seems to suggest it’s more good than bad.
Most recently, a study concluded that coffee can lower our risk for depression. Other findings have shown that its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. And anyone who’s ever been constipated or in need of a little pick-me-up, knows the delightful benefit of what comes after you pour yourself a cup.
Researcher Fengju Song agreed and concluded that although more studies are needed, coffee in indeed a good thing:
Given the nearly 1 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. To the best of our knowledge, coffee consumption is a healthy habit.
Score one more for coffee.