Coffee, running, and skin cancer

Good news for runners who enjoy a cup of coffee before morning exercise: new research in mice seems to point towards caffeine combined with exercise as protective against skin cancer and the deposition of subcutaneous fat. The study involved caffeine-laced water, which arguably has no flavonoid content compared to coffee and thus is even less protective, but nevertheless the mice who consumed it and exercised had about 4 times more cell death in UV-damaged skin cells. Death (apoptosis) here is good - it sure beats growth and division (a.k.a. cancer)! Interestingly, exercise or coffee, by themselves, were much less effective against melanomas.
This is an animal study, and thus largely theoretical, and I would be the first to volunteer for a logitudinal study in humans. Nevertheless, it balances earlier news that marathon runners have a higher incidence of melanoma (I wonder if they were controlling for coffee intake?), and continues to bolster the idea that good quality coffee, at about 1-2 cups a day, has a wide range of protective effects similar to those of chocolate. Tropical herbal medicine.

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