Caffeine is already a daily part of your routine, whether it’s in your morning cup of coffee or tea or your afternoon soda or your evening chunk of chocolate. You may be surprised to learn that that necessary ingredient is not only healthy for your mood, but also for your skin. The next time you pour a cup of java, enjoy each sip knowing you are doing something good for your whole body.
What It Could Be Good For
In 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported a University of Washington study that reported the skin cancer-fighting elements of caffeine. The caffeine that we consume in our coffees, teas and soda has the power to kill damaged cells that would otherwise multiply and spread. In this way, cancer is limited or stopped by caffeine intakes. The best part is that the study found that caffeine did not kill the healthy skin cells, only the damaged ones that needed to be stopped.
What Else It Might Do
A Clemson Cooperative Extension website regarding caffeine notes that caffeine may have the ability to help your body release and reduce fat pockets store throughout your body, especially when it is combined with exercise. Such pockets may include the cellulite found on your legs, buttocks and other areas. On the other hand, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends hydration as a key ingredient in the fight against cellulite. If you want to introduce caffeine into your fat-fighting mission, balance it with plenty of water, especially when working out.
What Harm Will It Do
Despite the encouraging stories that come out regarding the benefits of caffeine, it is not a innocuous ingredient. There are times you may want to ease up on the amount of coffee, tea, soda and chocolate you are indulging in. Although caffeine may be useful for fighting skin cancer, it can also cause your blood vessels to shrink and cause you to overheat if you are out in the sun after consuming a great deal of caffeine.
A study at the Rutgers’ Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy gave the mice subjects the equivalent of 1-to-2 cups of coffee per day and found that the damaged skin cells of those mice self-destructed, therefore preventing skin cancer. Paul Nghiem from the University of Washington said that it would take up to 6 cups of coffee to see even a 30 percent difference.
What You Should Do
Because it takes so much coffee, and even more tea, soda or chocolate, to see a difference, you should not rely on caffeine as your sun protection. Use proper sunscreen and limit your time in the sun. If you already enjoy coffee or other caffeinated beverages, enjoy their health benefits, such as skin cancer combat.
- coffee in coffee image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com