If you’re one of the millions of coffee devotees, here’s one more reason why you will love drinking coffee: A new study discovered that those who drink at least four cups of coffee every day have a much lower risk of developing melanoma.

This is a form of skin cancer, which is currently the fifth most widespread type of cancer in the United States. What’s really scary is that melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. More than 75,000 of people are diagnosed with this disease annually and almost 10,000 of them die every year.

The Study

Ultraviolet light, particularly UVB rays, is considered the biggest risk factor in melanoma. Coffee has compounds that a new discovery showed can reduce skin cancer risk. But because UVB is not the only risk factor, coffee may have varied results in individuals, depending on their risk level. This was what the researchers aimed to look at.

  • In the study, there were almost 450,000 participants.
  • The youngest was 50 years old and the oldest was 71 years old.
  • At the beginning of the study, no one had cancer.

With the data available, the study was performed for more than a decade. At the end of the study, the researchers found out that only less than 3,000 of the participants developed cancer, particularly malignant melanoma. Meanwhile, almost 2,000 of the other participants developed other forms of skin cancer, including in situ melanoma, which is the earliest stage of the deadly cancer. The researchers then looked into the relationship of skin cancer and their diet.

Throw away that cup, you won't need it / PicHelp
Throw away that cup, you won’t need it / PicHelp

Coffee vs Melanoma

As the researchers looked deeper, they discovered that the most committed of all coffee lovers – those who drink at least four cups of coffee every day – have lower risk of developing malignant melanoma. They have about 20% less risk of acquiring the disease. The researchers stressed that this effect is only present to people who drink caffeinated coffee.

So how does coffee do this? There have been a number of studies in the past where mice and skin cell cultures have reduced skin cancer risk when exposed to high amounts of caffeine. Skin cancer, especially those that are related to UV, is said to yield to the healing powers of coffee. Coffee compounds are also able to suppress carcinogenesis, which pertains to the formation of cancer. They can also reduce inflammation and prevent damage caused by oxidative stress.

While more research is needed to determine whether or not coffee can indeed prevent skin cancer, this discovery can definitely be a delight to people who love their cup of Joe.