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How Coffee May Lower Melanoma Risk

How Coffee May Lower Melanoma Risk

Guest post by Remy Bernard ~ Owner and Editor at Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes

I’ll be honest, I’m a little biased when it comes to talking about anything related to coffee. It’s the first thing I’m after when I wake up in the morning and it never lets me down when I need to get going in the afternoon. I can count on it. Not to mention the hundreds of experiences, memories, sights and smells I have come to associate with expertly roasted and well-brewed coffee. So many of the details of this humble bean have integrated themselves into some of the most fulfilling parts of my daily life.

So naturally, I was excited when, over the last 10 years or so, tons of research started pouring out of the scientific community touting the various health benefits of my beloved beans. The blog has already covered in detail how coffee can help prevent diabetes and even keep your heart healthy, but another recently discovered arrow in coffee’s health-boosting quiver is its ability to lower your risk for melanoma, one of the most deadly forms of skin cancer. A study performed in 2015 found that drinking around 4 cups of coffee a day (not a problem here) has a definitive link to lower melanoma risk.

Just to quickly dive into what we are dealing with, melanoma is the 5th most common form of cancer in the United States, and tops the list as the leader in skin-cancer related deaths. In 2016, about 9,500 people died from melanoma out of the 77,000 that received a diagnosis. This puts the mortality rate at a staggering 12%. I talk about these numbers not to get all doom and gloom, but just to drive home that it has the potential to be a very serious problem and I’m interested in doing everything I can to lower melanoma risk.

So how does coffee play into all this? Well, even though exposure to UV light is the risk factor you have the most control over, there are others that will raise, or lower your risk. In the National Cancer Institute study linked above, compounds found in coffee were shown to actually lower melanoma risk. In the study, researchers analyzed the data from 447,357 subjects and determined that there was a lower melanoma risk by up to 20% for those who consumed four or more cups per day, compared to those in the study that did not drink any coffee.

It is important to note that this protective effect only took place when the subjects consumed caffeinated coffee. Although it’s not totally clear, it would seem since compounds like polyphenols and diterpenes are already associated with coffee’s health benefits, the caffeine is largely responsible for the protective mechanism. Other studies have shown also shown that there is a ‘sunscreen effect’ produced by caffeine that inhibits DNA mutations that can lead to development of skin cancer.

While most researchers largely point to caffeine as the super hero in the story, it’s important to acknowledge that other variables may come into play when correlating it with the reduction. For example, the people that tend to drink tons of coffee may work indoors more where the access to a full carafe of hot coffee is easier to come by, while those working outdoors and in the sun all day don’t have the ability to drink cup after cup throughout the day. I only mention this because when looking at newer scientific data, it’s always important to consider all sides of the argument. Practicing safe sun habits will always be the most important thing you can do to protect yourself.

Like I said before, I would recommend practicing common sense when it comes to your health, but it’s nice to know that the more we look into coffee, the more we find out about how good it can be for you. I’m not going to go sit in the sun all day without sunscreen while pounding cup after cup of coffee and hope for the best, but I will continue to consume my 3-4 cups a day and relish in study after study that tells me coffee is so much more than just a delicious beverage.

Remy Bernard – Owner and Editor at Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes

A baker, chef and writer, Remy started as a way to deepen and spread her passion for making delicious food. She can also be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

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3 Ways Coffee Improves Heart Health

3 Ways Coffee Improves Heart Health

Did you know coffee can be a key player in keeping your heart healthy? Yes, really! Coffee Improves Heart Health. Check it out below.

1. Coffee Improves Heart Health By Lowering Calcium Deposits In Arteries

The same old story you hear about heart health usually is something like this: if you have calcium in your coronary arteries, you may be at risk for coronary artery disease(CAD). The reason this is a problem is it can lead to reduced blood flow or cause clots, which then leads to heart attacks.

This is all pretty scary stuff. Doctors recommend different diets, prescriptions, and exercises to prevent CAD. But did you know that drinking coffee is another step you can take to lower your risk?

Seriously, listen to this:

“‘Those who drank 3-5 cups a day had 40% less calcium in their arteries than non-coffee drinkers. This was reduced to 35% for those who drank 1-3, and 23% for those who drank just one. Coffee consumption and coronary artery calcium in young and middle-aged asymptomatic adults…1

Those are some pretty impressive numbers. While there are many ways to keep your calcium levels low, coffee is an easy and tasty way to work on it.

2. Coffee Improves Heart Health By Reducing Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Lots of studies and statistics show that Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise. Unfortunately this can lead to two to four times the risk to develop cardiovascular disease.2 Diet and exercise are an important part of lowering your risk, but drinking coffee can also be a big prevention tool, too.

A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found, ‘Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day was associated with an approximate 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to consuming none or less than 2 cups per day.’3

What is it about coffee that reduces your risk for diabetes? What you might not know is coffee is actually a great source of antioxidants — chlorogenic acid, and trigonelline to name a couple. These antioxidants work together to regulate your glucose and insulin levels which in turn helps to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Another study from 2002 found that coffee drinkers consuming at least 7 cups of coffee per day were half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes.4 The interesting thing about this study is when you compare it against recommended levels of caffeine consumption this is far higher than what is recommended to prevent overcaffeination. One way to have your coffee and drink it too so to speak is to only drink Arabica, shade-grown coffee. Arabica beans contain about half of the caffeine of other beans enabling you to drink more of it without getting the jitters of overcaffeination. And, because shade-grown coffee grows slower, it develops a smooth flavor with no bitterness. So enjoy a delicious cup of joe and let your coffee improve heart health.

3. Coffee Improves Heart Health By Reducing Your Risk of Stroke

Like the other ailments listed above, stroke could also be prevented by coffee. Did you know that by drinking at least one cup a day, you can reduce your risk of stroke by 20%?5 That’s a pretty great start, if you ask me.

The science behind it is relatively simple, too:

Dr Yoshihiro Kokubo, lead author of a study published in the journal Stroke, said: The regular action of drinking tea, coffee, largely benefits cardiovascular health because it partly keeps blood clots from forming.”6

Simple, straightforward, and easy. Drinking coffee is good for keeping your blood flow smooth and your heart happy.

Whether you only have one cup in the morning, or you drink a steady 4-5 cups a day, you’re keeping your heart in good shape. We may not be doctors, but the research available sure speaks for itself. Good coffee improves heart health.

1. Yuni Choi1, Yoosoo Chang Seungho Ryu Juhee Cho Sanjay Rampal Yiyi Zhang Jiin Ahn Joao A C Lima Hocheol Shin Eliseo Guallar. “Coffee consumption and coronary artery calcium in young and middle-aged asymptomatic adults.” Heart.

2. Kannel WB, McGee DL. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The Framingham study. JAMA.1979;241:2035–2038.

3. Huxley R. et al. (2009) Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, and Tea Consumption in Relation to Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169:2053-2063.

4. Van Dam R.M. et al. (2002) Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Lancet, 360:1477-1478.

5. Yoshihiro Kokubo, M.D., Ph.D., chief doctor, department of preventive cardiology, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan; Ralph Sacco, M.D., past president, American Heart Association, and chairman, neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; March 14, 2013, Stroke, online

6. IBID.