As you’re enjoying the last rays of summer, consider that in a few years you could be lathering on the coffee to prevent skin cancer. Findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests that chemicals commonly found in coffee have the ability to absorb UV radiation when applied directly to the skin. Researchers at Rutgers University genetically engineered mice to suppress the same enzyme that caffeine does in humans and have found that they were slower to develop skin cancer. Because of its ability to suppress ATR, the enzyme responsible for turning damaged skin cells cancerous, scientists have suggested that caffeine could be added to sunscreens to boost protection levels.
In a strange twist, caffeine molecules may also help you develop a nice tan in addition to protecting your skin from tumors and cancer. Caffeine has actually been shown to stimulate pigment cells, urging them to produce more color. So, a safer tan may not be too far on the horizon.