Coffee and exercise `work together to ward off skin cancer`

London: Always try to grab a cup of hot coffee after exercise, for a new study says that caffeine and workouts work together in staving off skin cancer.

Researchers at Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in New Jersey have found that the combination reduced the number of skin tumours in cancer-prone mice by 62 per cent. Tumours also shrank by 85 per cent in treated animals.

Lead author Dr Yao-Ping Lu said: "We found that this combination treatment can decrease sunlight-caused skin cancer formation in a mouse model. I believe we may extrapolate these findings to humans and anticipate that we would benefit from these combination treatments as well."

In their study on mice, the laboratory rodents exercised on a running wheel after being given a dose of caffeine. Both caffeine and exercise alone produced positive effects, but the benefit was greater when the two were combined.

Mice treated with caffeine alone had 27 per cent fewer tumours than untreated mice and their cancers were 61 per cent smaller. In exercise-only mice, tumour activity decreased by 35% and tumour volume by 70 per cent.

Caffeine and exercise also led to a weight reduction of 63 per cent in mice fed a high fat diet.

Dr Lu believes the common link is inflammation, which dropped as much as 92 per cent in mice given the combination treatment.

The findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Chicago.