Exercise and caffeine can help prevent skin cancer.
The combination can also be effective against inflammation caused by other cancers that are linked to obesity, the American Association for Cancer Research’s (AACR) annual meeting heard.
A recent study has found that people who drink three or more cups of coffee a day have a 20% lower risk of basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer.
Dr Yao-Ping Lu, associate research professor of chemical biology and Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy’s director of skin cancer prevention, addressed the meeting in Chicago.
He says, “We found that this combination treatment can decrease sunlight-caused skin cancer formation in a mouse model.
“I believe we may extrapolate these findings to humans and anticipate that we would benefit from these combination treatments as well.”
Researchers analyzed data from the famous Nurses’ Health Study on more than 112,000 people. One fourth of those studied had developed basal cell carcinoma over a 20 year period. Investigators found the more someone drank caffeinated coffee, (more than two cups a day) the lower their risk of developing this form of cancer.
The study team tested the effects of exercise and caffeine on mice that had a large risk of skin cancer.
The mice that were given caffeine and took exercise in a wheel had almost two-thirds (62%) fewer incidents of skin cancer. The volume of tumours fell by 85% compared with mice that had no exercise or caffeine.
By taking either exercise or caffeine, fewer positive effects were experienced. There was a 27% fall in tumours and a 61% fall in their size when caffeine was taken. In those mice that exercised, the incidence of tumours fell 35% and the volume by 70%.
It was also found that caffeine and exercise cut weight and swelling. Mice were fed a diet rich in omega-6 fatty foods and fat levels around the parametrium, the largest area of fat in a mouse, were calculated after a fortnight of exercise or caffeine doses.
Mice that had both caffeine and exercise treatment saw their fat pad weight fall 63%. Those taking just exercise had a 56% fall and those with caffeine doses saw a 30% reduction. The size and rate of development of the cancer also fell.