Can Caffeine Help Prevent Skin Cancer?

Researchers from Rutgers University have completed a study into whether caffeine could help reduce the chances of getting skin cancer. The researchers found that caffeine actually suppresses the ATR protein enzyme, which is known to be related to the development of skin cancer.

Previous theories have suggested that drinking coffee can reduce the chances of developing skin cancer. Rubbing caffeine directly onto the skin of lab mice has been done before. The results showed that the caffeine may help stop the skin from being harmed by UV rays by suppressing the ATR enzyme. The new study involved genetically modifying mice to weaken the ATR enzyme and then exposing them, as well as un-modified mice, to ultra violet lights. These results showed that the mice with less of the ATR enzyme produced 69 percent less tumors.

The Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research’s director, Allan Conney said; “Although it is known that coffee drinking is associated with a decreased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer, there now needs to be studies to determine whether topical caffeine inhibits sunlight-induced skin cancer.” If further studies result in the same outcome it could mean a change in the way we protect our skin from the suns rays.

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