Do you like your coffee strong, weak, or in your sunscreen? If your answer is the latter, you may be better protected against the sun’s rays. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that caffeine could beneficially alter a gene to prevent cancerous cells from forming.
The study used mice to show that the caffeine suppresses the ATR gene, causing DNA-damaged cells to die. The mice whose ATR genes were inhibited developed almost two-thirds fewer tumors than the control.
The study may have substantial ramifications for the manufacturing of sunscreen. It is likely that the addition of caffeine to sunscreen could reduce the likelihood of tumor development. The study did not take drinking caffeine into consideration.
Until there’s more data on the effects of topical caffeine, it’s best to take the study with a grain of salt. Of course, the best way to prevent against skin cancer is to apply sunscreen when you go outside and to re-apply often. Also, if you notice moles that are abnormal, be sure to schedule a visit with your dermatologist.