Java Drinkers Rejoice! Now there’s no reason to deny yourself that second cup. A new study suggests that your morning Joe does more just perk you up, it protects against melanoma. The more participants consumed the more protection they enjoyed. At least that’s according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Keep drinking even if you get the jitters. Those who consumed four or more cups per day saw a much lower chance of developing melanoma, according to Erikka Loftfield, lead author in this study. She is a doctoral student at Yale University’s School of Public Health. This study acts as her dissertation for entrance into the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Though novel, it isn’t the first study on the subject. Other research has shown that coffee minimizes the damage UV rays have on the skin, and thus limits the development of cancer. Melanoma is one of the most common forms of cancer. 77,000 cases were reported in 2013 resulting in 9,500 deaths.
3.5 million AARP members filled out questionnaires which researchers combed through to complete this study. Participants were from two cities, Atlanta and Detroit, or one of six states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, Louisiana, North Carolina and Florida. 447,400 Caucasian coffee drinking seniors were isolated from the rest of the bunch sometime between 1995 and 1996. They were followed-up with for about a decade after that. At the time when they filled out the questionnaire, all of the participants were cancer free. Adjustments were made for other factors that could skew the results. BMI, age, sex, smoking, alcohol intake and other factors were accounted for. Overall, coffee drinkers suffered melanoma far less than non-coffee drinkers. Those who drank one to three cups per day saw a 10% drop in melanoma risk. Those who consumed four or more saw a 20% reduction. Researchers think that caffeine causes the protective quality in coffee. Those who drank non-caffeinated coffee did not receive the same benefit.