Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Caffeine lowers risk of skin cancer: Coffee-based sunscreen might work best

Date:
August 25, 2011
Source:
Rutgers University
Summary:
Researchers strengthen their theory that caffeine guards against skin cancer. Based on research on mice, scientists believe that caffeine applied directly to the skin may ultimately be effective as a topical sunscreeen.

There might be a time when instead of just drinking that morning cup of coffee you lather it on your skin as a way of preventing harmful sun damage or skin cancer.

A new Rutgers study strengthens the theory that caffeine guards against certain skin cancers at the molecular level by inhibiting a protein enzyme in the skin, known as ATR. Scientists believe that based on what they have learned studying mice, caffeine applied directly to the skin might help prevent damaging UV light from causing skin cancer.

Prior research indicated that mice that were fed caffeinated water and exposed to lamps that generated UVB radiation that damaged the DNA in their skin cells were able to kill off a greater percentage of their badly damaged cells and reduce the risk of cells becoming cancerous.

"Although it is known that coffee drinking is associated with a decreased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer, there now needs to be studies to determine whether topical caffeine inhibits sunlight-induced skin cancer," said Allan Conney, director of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research.

In this newly-published study, instead of inhibiting ATR with caffeinated water, Rutgers researchers, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Washington, genetically modified and diminished ATR in one group of mice. The results: the genetically modified mice developed tumors more slowly than the unmodified mice, had 69 percent fewer tumors than regular mice and developed four times fewer invasive tumors.

The study also found, however, that when both groups of mice were exposed to chronic ultraviolet rays for an extended period of time, tumor development occurred in both the genetically modified and regular mice. What this seems to indicate, says Conney, is that inhibiting the ATR enzyme works best at the pre-cancerous stage before UV-induced skin cancers are fully developed.

According to the National Cancer Institute, sunlight-induced skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States with more than 1 million new cases each year. Although multiple human epidemiologic studies link caffeinated beverage intake with significant decreases in several different types of cancer, including skin cancer, just how and why coffee protects against the disease is unknown.

"Caffeine might become a weapon in prevention because it inhibits ATR and also acts ad as a sunscreen and directly absorbs damaging UV light," said Conney.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Masaoki Kawasumi, Bianca Lemos, James E. Bradner, Renee Thibodeau, Yong-son Kim, Miranda Schmidt, Erin Higgins, Sang-wahn Koo, Aimee Angle-Zahn, Adam Chen, Douglas Levine, Lynh Nguyen, Timothy P. Heffernan, Isabel Longo, Anna Mandinova, Yao-Ping Lu, Allan H. Conney, and Paul Nghiem. Protection from UV-induced skin carcinogenesis by genetic inhibition of the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 15, 2011 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1111378108

Cite This Page:

Rutgers University. "Caffeine lowers risk of skin cancer: Coffee-based sunscreen might work best." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815162337.htm>.
Rutgers University. (2011, August 25). Caffeine lowers risk of skin cancer: Coffee-based sunscreen might work best. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815162337.htm
Rutgers University. "Caffeine lowers risk of skin cancer: Coffee-based sunscreen might work best." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815162337.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins