Study: Caffeinated coffee could lower basal cell carcinoma risk


PHILADELPHIA — Increasing one's caffeinated coffee intake could lower one's risk of developing basal cell carcinoma — which is considered the most common form of skin cancer — according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Researchers led by Jiali Han — an associate professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston and Harvard School of Public Health — found that when conducting a prospective analysis of data from the Nurses' Health Study — which included 112,897 participants in the analyses, 22,786 of which developed basal cell carcinoma during the more than 20 years of follow-up in the two studies — an inverse association was observed between all coffee consumption and risk of basal cell carcinoma. Additionally, an inverse association was seen between intake of caffeine from all dietary sources (i.e., coffee, tea, cola and chocolate) and risk of basal cell carcinoma. The researchers found, however, consumption of decaffeinated coffee was not associated with a decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma.

"Our data indicate that the more caffeinated coffee you consume, the lower your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma," Han said. "I would not recommend increasing your coffee intake based on these data alone. However, our results add basal cell carcinoma to a list of conditions for which risk is decreased with increasing coffee consumption. This list includes conditions with serious negative health consequences, such as Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease."

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