April 4, 2012
Everyone knows sunscreen is important for helping to reduce the risk of skin cancer. But new research shows that a combination of exercise and caffeine can also help — in mice at least.
Researchers found that exercise and caffeine consumption may have had this effect because each positively affects weight loss and reduces inflammation, Time reported.
In the study, researchers examined 160 mice that were exposed to a low dose of UV radiation every day. These mice were then split into four groups and given different options for 14 weeks: plain water and no running exercise wheel (controls); dose of caffeine treatment and no running exercise wheel; plain water and a running exercise wheel; and a dose of caffeine treatment with a running exercise wheel.
The mice that received caffeine and exercised on the wheel had 62 percent fewer skin tumors than the control mice. Their tumors were smaller, too.
Exercise and caffeine alone also had positive effects (against controls) — mice that only consumed caffeine had 27 percent fewer tumors while those that only exercised had 35 percent less. Both groups experienced smaller tumors as well.
However, the combination of exercise and caffeine showed the greatest positive effect.
Researchers don't want people to start chugging caffeine and hitting the gym in order to prevent cancer just yet. The results were found just in mice. And since weight loss may ultimately be the reason why the mice saw a decreased risk, living a healthy lifestyle and focusing on healthy weight management may be more important.