Dr. Paul Ngheim, Associate Professor of Dermatology at University of Washington, Seattle, has reported findings from applying caffeine directly to the skin of mice exposed to ultraviolet radiation. He found that a protein, ATR-Chk1, is necessary for UV damaged skin cells to grow quickly into cancerous cells. When caffeine was applied, the protein was interrupted causing only the damaged skin cells to die, and at a very rapid rate. There was a 72% rate of nonmelonoma skin cancer suppression in the mice, stopping the cancerous cells in their tracks.
Dr. Robin Ashinoff, Assoicate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, is not ready to agree wholeheartedly. She says that “this study tells me that caffeine may be a useful ingredient topically to remove ultraviolet-genetically damaged cells from reproducing….(and) may help prevent the development of skin cancer.”
Dr. Albert Lefkovits, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, doesn’t think caffeine has any effect on skin cancer. He feels there is much more studying to be done, and rightfully so. Mice with skin cancer are not the same as you or I. He also questions what the correct amount of caffeine to drink is. Search out other related research and decide for yourself.
This is what I am going to do – keep drinking my two cups of coffee each morning, and use Apriori Beauty’s Celloxylin Skin Care which does have caffeine in almost every product!! (I think our Cosmetic Chemists are on to something!) This way, I am totally covered from the inside out, and I don’t think some extra caffeine will do me any harm, do you?
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Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2009) 129,1611–1613. doi:10.1038/jid.2009.99