There have been more than 19,000 studies on caffeine and coffee containing products in the past 30 years.
Most of them aimed to uncover the drug's exact effects on the human body.
Coffee drinkers be relieved again, the news is mostly good. Once criticised as all-around bad for you, coffee has now been given a clear by almost everyone including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Academy of Science, National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute and etc.
Coffee has been used for years in various ways - injected for that energy kick, topical for the detoxing effects (as exfoliants as well as body wraps) and in alternative medicine (coffee enemas have been used to treat some forms of cancer by alternative health practitioners).
We already knew that drinking that morning cup of coffee might decrease the risk of occurrence of certain skin cancer. However, the mechanism by which caffeine protects skin cells remained unknown. A new study by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle and at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, provides further documentation on biological mechanisms involved.
Caffeine - cellular processes inhibitor
Researches said that caffeine prevents certain skin cancers at the molecular level by inhibiting a protein enzyme in the skin called ATR. The researchers made this discovery by genetically modifying ATR in one group of mice and exposed the transgenic mice to UV rays.
The study confirmed the importance of the inhibition of the ATR protein. Indeed, genetically modified mice developed tumours more slowly than the unmodified mice and, at the end of observation;
it took 19 weeks, they had 69 percent fewer tumours than regular mice and developed four times fewer invasive tumours.
The finding explains previous studies which credited drinking caffeinated – but not decaffeinated - tea and coffee with warding off non-melanoma skin cancer.
Role of caffeine on the skin
The researchers have compared these results to another study where caffeine was applied on the skin of UV-pre-treated “high-risk” mice. In that case, mice developed 72 percent fewer squamous cell carcinomas, a form of skin cancer. While this aspect needs to be further investigated, scientists believe that based on what they have learned studying mice, caffeine applied directly to the skin might help prevent damaging ultraviolet light from causing skin cancer.
Allan Conney, professor of Chemical Biology and director of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, co-author of the study says “Caffeine might become a weapon in prevention because it inhibits ATR and also acts as a sunscreen and directly absorbs damaging UV light,” he added.
Previously Uncovered health benefits of caffeine
ANTIAGEING - Due to high content of antioxidants coffee now takes the top spot when it comes to foods that are rich in antioxidants
COGNITIVE FUNCTION - Coffee may help with memory as it boosts the functioning of the brain and acts as a stimulant. It’s also responsible for reducing the beta amyloid levels in the brain. Beta amyloid is a protein which if found in high levels in the brain can cause Alzheimer’s disease
CAVITIES - Coffee they say, stains the teeth and that' perhaps one of very few disadvantages of the otherwise perfect drink. What many may not know though is that reports have surfaced that coffee actually prevents the formation of cavities in the teeth
DIABETIC RISKS - According to studies It has also been discovered that certain chemicals present in coffee help reduce blood sugar levels effectively
HEADACHES - A popularly known fact is that coffee reduces headaches. Coffee helps to reduce the size of the blood vessels that inflame during headaches and migraines
CANCER RISKS - According to recent studies, two cups of coffee a day can protect you from a myriad of cancer ailments. These include liver cancer, colon cancer and in indirect cases, breast and skin cancers
METABOLISM - Want to lose weight? Then drink a cup of coffee every morning. This doesn’t necessarily mean coffee has elements that help in weight reduction. Rather, a cup of coffee every morning helps to speed up your body metabolism by nearly 10 percent. Many gym instructors also recommend a small cup of black coffee before training session to maximise the fat burning potential
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