Food & Beverage Perspectives
Coffee and heart health

Coffee May Help Ward Off Skin Cancer

<p>Cutaneous melanoma is leading cause of skin cancer death and the fifth most common cancer in the United States. Problem is, other than UV exposure, the causes aren&#8217;t really understood. Coffee, one of Americans&#8217; favorite beverages, contains numerous bioactive compounds and may have an inverse relationship with melanoma.</p>

Cutaneous melanoma is leading cause of skin cancer death and the fifth most common cancer in the United States. Problem is, other than UV exposure, the causes aren’t really understood. Coffee, one of Americans’ favorite beverages, contains numerous bioactive compounds and may have an inverse relationship with melanoma.

To investigate this relationship, Yale researchers gathered data from a study done by the National Institutes of Health and AARP (J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015;107(2):dju421). Coffee intake was assessed via a food-frequency questionnaire in 447,357 Caucasians at baseline; researchers followed up with the participants for an average of 10 years.

The highest category of coffee intake was inversely associated with malignant melanoma (at least 4 or more cups per day). This association was statistically significant for caffeinated (at least 4 or more cups a day), but not for decaffeinated coffee. The researchers concluded, in this large U.S. cohort study, higher coffee intake is associated with a modest decrease in risk of melanoma.  More investigations of coffee intake and its constituents, particularly caffeine, with melanoma are warranted.

The ready-to-drink beverage market features a wide range of products, which includes both tea and coffee. Moreover, tea and coffee have shown tremendous growth in the RTD category. A since beverages are by far the category that utilizes functional ingredients the most, its no surprise that beverage formulators are using tea, mainly green tea extract, and coffee for their caffeine content in sports/energy drinks, too. Tea and coffee shots are gaining popularity as well, as consumers like on-the-go, easy-to-take beverages. Coffee is also used as a flavor agenet--think ice cream, rub and marinades, beverages and more.

And yes, I am drinking a cup of coffee as I write this up. 

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