Science

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 per cent lower incidence of cancer tumours than those who were lazy and remained uncaffeinated. And the volume of the tumours that did develop was 85 per cent 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 tumours by 27 per cent and tumour size by 61 per cent. 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 per cent without exercise.

Mice that exercised but didn’t have caffeine saw 35 per cent fewer tumours and 40 per cent smaller ones. They also reduced their fat pad by 63 per cent.

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]

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