Does caffeine fight cancer?

Epidemiological studies have shown that caffeinated drinks may help prevent skin cancer by inhibiting a DNA repair pathway, thus killing potentially precancerous cells. In English, it means that drinking drinks containing caffeine will reduce one’s chances of developing some types of cancer, including UV-associated skin cancer. That just proves that caffeine fight cancer. The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, lend support to the idea that caffeine could be added to sunblock to increase its protective effects. At the cellular level, they’re showing that caffeine is working in this way of inducing an apoptotic mechanism. This statement was then made by cancer epidemiologist Joanne Kotsopoulos of the University of Toronto.

In the 2007, a study stated that woman who drank caffeinated coffee on a daily basis had a 10 percent lower risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Six or more cups of coffee a day translated to a 30 percent reduction in risk. Mouse studies have also confirmed the link, with both ingested and topically-applied caffeine lowering skin cancer rates in the animals. But exactly how the stimulant protected against cancer remained mysterious. One possibility is the drug’s inhibition of ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR), a large protein kinase that senses incomplete DNA replication often a result of DNA damage and signals the cell to not divide. By inhibiting ATR activity, caffeine could make cells more likely to die in response to UV damage, preventing damaged cells from ever becoming cancerous.

Studies have shown that the caffeine molecule acts as a sunscreen. It therefore blocks the penetration of UV rays. And that is why today we see many sunblocks with a good amount of caffeine in them.