Coffee May Reduce Melanoma Risk

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN

Do you love coffee? If so, here's some more good news regarding coffee and your health.

A recent study found that coffee drinkers may be better protected against the deadliest type of skin cancer, melanoma.

The results were published in the January issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Four Cups of Coffee a Day Linked to 20% Lower Melanoma Risk 

Researchers from Yale analyzed data from a study involving over 440,000 people. Participants were given food questionnaires which analyzed their coffee intake. They were followed up after a period of 10 years, on average, to determine the incidence of melanoma.

Compared to non-drinkers, coffee drinking lowered the risk of melanoma by 10%. The risk was 20% lower for individuals who drank four or more cups daily.1

Interestingly, the results did not hold true for decaffeinated coffee, the earliest stage of melanoma (melanoma in situ), nor were the results influenced by factors traditionally associated with melanoma such as UV-light exposure, smoking, or alcohol intake.

Ealier Studies Confirm the Anti-Cancer Benefits of Coffee

It’s not known exactly how coffee drinking may potentially lower the risk of melanoma. The researchers propose that caffeine may be the culprit, since previous studies show it protects against UV radiation.

The benefits may also be attributed to the numerous antioxidants found in coffee, which includes
caffeic acid, diterpenes, trigonelline, and chlorogenic acid. More research needs to be conducted.

Whatever the case, it’s not surprising that other studies confirm the anti-cancer benefits of coffee. Research shows coffee drinkers may have a higher protection against breast, prostate, colon, and even liver cancer.2-5

Drink High Quality, Antioxidant-Rich Coffee

Not all coffee provides the same protection against disease. The antioxidant content varies with how long the beans are roasted and the roasting method itself.

Several companies now offer antioxidant-retaining coffees. Be on the lookout for these!


  1. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Jan 20;107(2). 
  2. Breast Cancer Res. 2011 May 14;13(3):R49. 
  3. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Jun 8;103(11):876-84. 
  4. Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Nov;21(11):1949-59. 
  5. Int J Cancer. 2005 Aug 10;116(1):150-4.


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