In addition to this finding, this finding, this finding and this finding -- all of which came out in the past month or so -- a new coffee study is showing us yet another health benefit of being a regular brew-drinker.
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School have found that there seems to be a relationship between increased coffee intake (meaning the more, the better) and decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma -- the most common skin cancer.
But researchers cautioned that if you aren't an avid coffee drinker already, this study shouldn't convince you to try to increase your coffee intake for the sake of protecting against skin cancer.
"However, our results add basal cell carcinoma to a list of conditions for which risk is decreased with increasing coffee consumption," study researcher Jiali Han, Ph.D., an associate professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston and Harvard School of Public Health, said in a statement. "This list includes conditions with serious negative health consequences such as Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease."
This year in the United States, there are expected to be more than 2,000,000 new cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The Cancer Research study included analysis of 112,897 people who were in the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Over a 20-year period, 22,786 people developed basal cell carcinoma.
Researchers not only found a link between increased coffee consumption and decreased skin cancer risk -- for example, women who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had a lower risk of skin cancer than people who drank less than a cup of coffee a month -- but also a link between overall increased caffeine consumption (like from coffee, soda, chocolate and tea) and decreased skin cancer risk. Meanwhile, there was no link between decaffeinated coffee consumption and risk of the skin cancer.
In addition, there was no link was identified between increased coffee or caffeine consumption and squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma, which are two other kinds of skin cancer.
"These results really suggest that it is the caffeine in coffee that is responsible for the decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma associated with increasing coffee consumption," Han said in the statement. "This would be consistent with published mouse data, which indicate caffeine can block skin tumor formation. However, more studies in different population cohorts and additional mechanistic studies will be needed before we can say this definitively."
However, there is such a thing as too much caffeine. The Mayo Clinic says that consuming heavy amounts of caffeine each day (500 to 600 milligrams a day, or more) can lead to muscle tremors, insomnia, irritability, restlessness and even upset stomach. But the Mayo Clinic did note that getting about 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day -- that which is in about four cups of coffee -- for adults is not a detriment to health.
Recently, a study of about 200,000 people in the journal CANCER showed that there may be a link between taking anti-inflammatory drugs and skin cancer risk.
Researchers from the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark found that people in the study with more than two NSAID prescriptions had a 15 percent lower risk for squamous cell carcinoma, a kind of skin cancer, as well as a 13 percent lower risk for malignant melanoma, a deadly form of the cancer. This is compared with people who only filled two or fewer NSAID prescriptions.
The decreased skin cancer risk was especially pronounced when the people took them for at least seven years, and with "high-intensity use," researchers said in the study.
For more on the potential health benefits of coffee, click through the slideshow:
Coffee (Or At Least, The Caffeine!) Can Help You Proofread Better
The caffeine in coffee could actually help you to <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2011-23154-001/" target="_hplink">spot grammatical errors</a>, according to a new study in the <em>Journal of Experimental Psychology</em>. Researchers found that <a href="http://bodyodd.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/26/8498728-tank-up-on-java-unleash-your-inner-editor-says-study?ocid=twitter" target="_hplink">caffeine helped students to correct errors</a> in subject-verb agreement and verb tense, MSNBC reported. However, the caffeine still didn't seem to make a difference at identifying misspelled words -- sorry.
Coffee Could Lower Women's Depression Risk
Women who drink a few cups of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/27/coffee-cuts-depression-women_n_982122.html" target="_hplink">caffeinated coffee have a lower risk of depression</a> than women who don't drink any coffee, according to a Harvard study. That research, published in the <em>Archives of Internal Medicine</em>, shows that women who drink two to three cups of coffee a day have a 15 percent lower risk, while women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk. Study research Dr. Albert Ascherio <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/27/coffee-cuts-depression-women_n_982122.html" target="_hplink">told HuffPost</a> earlier that "caffeine is known to affect the brain," because it "modulates the release of mood transmitters." "I'm not saying we're on the path to discovering a new way to prevent depression," he said. "But I think you can be reassured that if you are drinking coffee, it is coming out as a positive thing."
Coffee Could Save Your Brain
... Well, maybe. A study in the <em>Journal of Alzheimer's Disease</em> suggests that there's something in coffee -- though researchers have yet to determine what exactly that "something" is -- interacts with caffeine to boost the levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF), a growth factor that seems to be able to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/24/coffee-could-ward-alzheimers_n_882931.html" target="_hplink">fight off Alzheimer's disease in mice</a>. The amount of coffee needed in the study is equivalent to about four or five cups of coffee for humans. Researchers said <a href="http://www.j-alz.com/press/2011/20110621.html" target="_hplink">GCSF likely has this effect</a> because it causes stem cells in the bone marrow to come into the brain and remove the beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. It also has a role in forming brain cell connections and creating new brain neurons, researchers said.
Coffee Could Lower Men's Prostate Cancer Risk
A Harvard School of Public Health study shows that men who drink six cups of coffee a day have a 60 percent decreased <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/18/coffee-can-cut-prostate-c_n_863472.html" target="_hplink">chance of developing a dangerous form of prostate cancer</a>, as well as a 20 percent decreased chance of developing any other kinds of prostate cancer. The study, published in the <em>Journal of the National Cancer Institute</em>, also shows that just <a href="http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/05/17/jnci.djr151.abstract" target="_hplink">drinking just some coffee a day</a> -- just one to three cups -- could still cut prostate cancer risk by 30 percent.
Coffee Could Ward Off The World's Most Common Cancer
New research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference shows that coffee could help to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/24/coffee-most-common-cancer_n_1025089.html" target="_hplink">ward off basal cell carcinoma</a>, the most common cancer in the world. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that women who drink three or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of the skin cancer, while men had a 9 percent lower risk. Decaf coffee didn't seem to have the same protective effect -- so "our study shows that the inverse association with BCC appears due to caffeine, not other components in the coffee consumption," study researcher Fengju Song, Ph.D., earlier <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/24/coffee-most-common-cancer_n_1025089.html" target="_hplink">told HuffPost</a>.
Coffee Could Protect You From Type 2 Diabetes
Drinking coffee is associated with a <a href="http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/169/22/2053" target="_hplink">lower Type 2 diabetes risk</a>, with more coffee consumption linked to a greater decrease in risk, according to an <em>Archives of Internal Medicine</em> review of studies from 2009. In that review, researchers looked at data from more than 450,000 people in 18 studies, and found that for every extra cup of coffee drank a day, a person's risk of Type 2 diabetes decreased by 7 percent. However, researchers cautioned that "the putative <a href="http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/169/22/2053" target="_hplink">protective effects of these beverages</a> warrant further investigation in randomized trials."
Coffee Could Decrease Parkinson's Risk
Drinking <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182023" target="_hplink">a few cups of coffee a day</a> could lower the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by as much as 25 percent, according to a study published last year in the <em>Journal of Alzheimer's Disease</em>. In that review of studies, which was published in the <em>Journal of Alzheimer's Disease</em>, researchers examined 26 studies that involved 125,000 British people, to find that <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7815087/Coffee-can-cut-chances-of-developing-Parkinsons-disease-according-to-new-research.html" target="_hplink">two or three cups of coffee</a> seemed to have the optimal effect, <em>The Telegraph</em> reported.
The benefits of coffee