Coffee can perk you up and give you a generous boost of antioxidents – both of which are good reasons to pour youself a second cup in the morning. New research reveals that coffee may have other health benefits: it can help protect against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The study, conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute, found that people who drank at least 4 cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of developing melanoma than their counterparts did not. The study looked at the self-reported coffee-drinking habits of more than 440,000 people, and even after screening for things like age and a family history of cancer, the link between coffee and a reduced melanoma risk remained significant. Decaf coffee did not show the same protective effects against UV damage. This study is just one more piece of evidence that caffeine “may act as a molecular sunscreen.” While the study will not necessarily be the last word on this subject, it is a solid indicator that you shouldn’t hesitate before pouring yourself another cup of coffee.