Exercise and Caffeine Is a Cancer-Fighting One-Two Punch

Illustration for article titled Exercise and Caffeine Is a Cancer-Fighting One-Two Punch

This is the study that many of us have been waiting for: exercise combined with caffeine will greatly reduce your risk of skin cancer caused by sun exposure.


Well perhaps not those of us averse to exercise. But scientists in New Jersey have found that mice who logged plenty of hamster wheel time and ingested lots of caffeine had a 62 percent lower incidence of cancer tumors than those who were lazy and remained uncaffeinated. And the volume of the tumors that did develop was 85 percent smaller.

"I believe we may extrapolate these findings to humans and anticipate that we would benefit from these combination treatments as well," said Yao-Ping Lu, an associate research professor of chemical biology and director of skin cancer prevention at the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in Piscataway, New Jersey, who presented the findings on Tuesday at the annual American Association for Cancer Research. He believes the key to the cancer fighting combo is that overall, it reduces inflammation.


And even those of you who'd just as soon imbibe your caffeinated beverages without getting up from the couch can take comfort in the findings. Caffeine alone reduced tumors by 27 percent and tumor size by 61 percent. Also exciting is the fact that these mice lost weight despite being fed a high-fat diet. The rodents' "parametrial fat pad" weight decreased by 30 percent without exercise.

Mice that exercised but didn't have caffeine saw 35 percent fewer tumors and 40 percent smaller ones. They also reduced their fat pad by 63 percent.

It's kind of great that we have so many studies to pick and choose from to suit our lifestyle. If you've decided to eat only red meat, relish in this study that shows it makes you happy. If you are a vegetarian, post this study that shows vegetables make you prettier on you're fridge. If you've gone all popcorn, take pleasure in the fact that it's packed with antioxidants. Something for everyone. Hooray science![American Academy of Cancer Research]


Image: Shutterstock/privilege

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Arggh! there goes a...snake a snake!

Depends on where you exercise. If you exercise for long periods of time on a sunny day, I'd guess your risk for skin cancer actually goes up.