New studies show health benefits of drinking coffee

Two new studies just released have revealed perhaps unexpected health benefits from a daily cup of coffee.

Doctor Jiali Han associate professor at Brigham and Women’s hospital in the United States said, “Our data indicates that the more caffeinated coffee you consume the lower your risk of developing what is the most common form of skin cancer in the UK causing an estimated 80,000 new cases every year, basal cell carcinoma”.

While basal cell carcinoma only spreads to other parts of the body in just 0.5% of cases and is slow growing, it causes considerable illness and places a burden on health care systems.

Dr Han and his colleagues analyzed data from two studies spanning more than twenty years and involving 112,897 participants, and found a link between coffee consumption and a decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma.

Similar results were seen with other sources of caffeine such as: tea, cola and chocolate however tellingly there was no connection between basal cell carcinoma and decaffeinated coffee, which led Dr Han to suggest that it is the caffeine in the coffee that is responsible for the decreased risk of basal cell carcinoma

These findings were backed up by mouse data which indicated that caffeine could block skin tumour formation however, more studies and more time will be needed before these findings could be considered definitive.

In another study sports scientists led by Jason Tallis at Coventry University have found that drinking coffee could help the elderly maintain muscle strength.

Whilst it is known that caffeine can help the muscles to produce more force in adults the sports scientists at Coventry University wanted to see if there was any link between caffeine consumption and muscle strength in the elderly.

Their studies with mice ranging from juvenile to adult, found that despite a reduced affect in the elderly caffeine may still increase added muscle performance.

The possible health benefits from these two studies can be added to the list of conditions that increased coffee consumption can reduce the risk of such as type 2 diabetes and parkinsons disease. Consuming caffeine has also been linked to improved thinking processes and improved memory skills in later life.

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