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Consuming Caffeine May Reduce Risk of Melanoma

National Cancer Institute researchers investigated the association between coffee drinking and the risk of developing malignant melanoma. They looked at 447,357 cancer-free, non-Hispanic whites and found that folks who downed four or more cups of caffeinated coffee per day, had a 20 percent lower risk for malignant melanoma. So for pale-skinned folks anyway, coffee intake was clearly associated with a lowered risk of the most lethal form of skin cancer. (Other studies have shown black coffee made with a paper filter reduces the risk of eight other cancers as well as diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s by more than 20 percent.)

It’s possible this is because coffee contains polyphenols and caffeine, which help keep the cancer-fighting powers of your immune system healthy so your DNA is protected from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The researchers also speculate that caffeine acts as a molecular sunscreen, absorbing UV rays and preventing sun damage from the inside out. So if you’re cleared by your doc to consume caffeine, think of the good Joe Bean and drink to your health.

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