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Wednesday 17 August 2011

Caffeine V Cancer

Hey guys,
caffeine in sunscreen
Thought I would share this interesting piece of news I heard today as I sat down with a tea, yes not even a coffee- although tea has caffeine too and I heard once that tea in dry form has a higher measure of caffeine than coffee, but a fully prepared cup of coffee measures up as more.  The longer they are left to steep the more caffeine that is released. 

Although most of us have heard some story or another before about caffeine destroying damaged cells before they become cancerous, it has now been suggested that putting caffeine in sunscreen can protect against skin cancer.
Now how about that, seems like coffee has lots of things going for it, says me who is not an avid coffee drinker, the odd cappucino now and then but that’s it.
But now this, hmm some more coffee for me I think….. although I eat plenty of chocolate no doubt, wonder does that caffeine count, guess so… any excuse to eat chocolate, hehe! 
Wow you never know the cure for cancer could be right under our noses.
But basically these particular findings could be used to create a caffeine based sunscreen.
“Scientists believe the chemical found in coffee absorbs ultraviolet radiation when applied to the skin and prevents tumours after exposure to sunlight.”                                                                                                                       Martin Beckford, Health Correspondent, The Telegraph
I’ve heard so many things about caffeine everything from it preventing Alzheimer's and ageing to possibly increasing women’s sex drive and even two cups supposedly reducing muscle pain by a significant amount. (See some more at the end of this post.)

However- as always there is a BUT-  this was also stated as regards the topical application of caffeine on the skin,
"First one might want to check there is no adverse effect of caffeine on the incidence of other cancers, especially melanoma (pigmented skin cancer), which kills over four times as many people as squamous cell carcinoma. But caffeine lotion might promote tanning a little, since this family of molecules stimulates pigment cells to make more pigment.”                                    
Prof Dot Bennett, Professor of Cell Biology at St George’s, University of London
Some tests have been carried out on mice as usual.  Some mice were genetically engineered to have reduced levels of an enzyme that keeps damaged cells alive. Caffeine was given to suppress this enzyme, thus killing the potentially cancerous cells. When these modified mice were subjected to UV light, they developed less tumours and at a later time than the unmodified mice.

cup of coffee
Coffee Anyone??
So the conclusion for me seems that it is best to just carry on drinking coffee rather than using a caffeine based sunscreen, cos if the damaged cells are in your body, drinking caffeine will catch them anyway. Id rather that than risking elevating any chances of melanomas.

However coffee granules themselves have great beauty benefits:

* Attacking cellulite- mixing grounds with lotion/oil and massaging the area and covering with plastic for up to 30 mins before washing away.  
* Exfoliation- wrapping grounds in plastic and brushing against the skin or just sprinking some grounds in your hand mixed with some lotion in the shower and off you go.
* Happy hair-  dipping your head in cool coffee has been said to deepen hair colour as well as giving it softness and shine. Although I would wonder, if caffeine is said to dehydrate our bodies, would it dry out hair and make it brittle?!
Deodorising- rub the grounds on hands or body and rinse with water.

Sounds like a desert island must have to me!!
What do you think?

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