Caffeine + Exercise = Less Skin Cancer


As we head into the summer months you might want to grab an iced coffee before heading to the gym. It seems that researchers have discovered that exercising and consuming caffeine produces a protective element against skin cancer caused by sun exposure and may also prevent inflammation related to other obesity-linked cancers.

“We found that this combination treatment can decrease sunlight-caused skin cancer formation in a mouse model,” said Yao-Ping Lu, Ph.D., associate research professor of chemical biology and director of skin cancer prevention at the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in Piscataway, N.J. “I believe we may extrapolate these findings to humans and anticipate that we would benefit from these combination treatments as well,” Lu added.


The researchers examined the effects of caffeine and exercise on mice at high risk for developing skin cancer. They discovered that mice that had caffeine and exercised on a running wheel had 62 per cent less skin tumors. The number of tumors also dropped by 85 per cent compared with the mice that did not consume caffeine or exercise.

Positive effects were also seen with either caffeine or exercise alone, but to a lesser extent. Researchers observed a 27 per cent decrease in tumors in caffeine-only mice and a 61 per cent reduction in tumor size. In the exercise-only mice, researchers found that tumor activity dropped by 35 percent and tumor volume decreased by 70 per cent. The link, Lu believes, is inflammation, which dropped as much as 92 per cent in mice that exercised and consumed caffeine. Inflammation is associated with a variety of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and asthma.

This is all great news, especially if you’re a mouse, but please, please, please remember the sunscreen!

What’s your favorite type of caffeine?

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