Coffee Protects Against Skin CancerOver recent years numerous health benefits have been attributed to drinking black coffee.  Now, a recent study has revealed that coffee can protect people from skin cancer which causes growths on sufferers’ skin that vary in degrees of malignancy.

The study looked at people who drank both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and found that women who drink over 3 cups of caffeinated coffee each day were 21% less likely to develop a condition known as BCC (basal cell carcinoma) than women who consumed less than a cup of caffeinated coffee each month. Men who drink three or more cups of caffeinated coffee saw a risk reduction of about 10%. The researchers did not find the same correlations in people who drink decaffeinated coffee, suggesting that the protective effect to the skin is likely due to caffeine consumption.

Researchers were quick to note that drinking coffee is no replacement for sunscreen. While caffeine appears to have a protective effect on the skin, it does not compare to the protection offered by a quality sunscreen and ample shade.

2.8 Million Cases of BCC Skin Cancer Reported Every Year

It’s estimated by the Skin Cancer Foundation that about 2.8 million cases of BCC skin cancer are diagnosed annually in the United States. Skin cancer is very rarely deadly, though in rare cases it can metastasize and become quite serious. Risk factors for skin cancer include regular exposure to the sun, a fair complexion, a genetic history of melanoma, and severe reactions to sunburns.

The researchers noted that people who did not drink caffeinated coffee still saw a reduction in their risk of skin cancer if they had caffeine in their diet from alternate sources such as soda, herbal tea, and even chocolate.

Experts say that other possible benefits of drinking black coffee may include protection against developing Parkinson’s disease, type II diabetes, and liver cancer. Researchers have also found a link between regular coffee consumption and a decreased risk of having a stroke or heart attack. While most studies have found a correlation and not a direct cause-and-effect association between coffee and certain diseases, the evidence certainly seems to suggest that regular consumption of a few cups of coffee every day can be beneficial to one’s health.