Research funded by the National Institutes of Health showed that the combined effects of exercise plus caffeine consumption may be able to ward off skin cancer and also prevent inflammation related to other obesity-linked cancers.?

?We found that this combination treatment can decrease sunlight-caused skin cancer formation in a mouse model,? said Yao-Ping Lu, Ph.D., associate research professor of chemical biology and director of skin cancer prevention at the? Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in Piscataway, N.J. He presented these findings at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), held in Chicago, March 31 – April 4, 2012.

?I believe we may extrapolate these findings to humans and anticipate that we would benefit from these combination treatments as well,? Lu added.

Effects of caffeine and exercise?
The researchers evaluated the effects of caffeine and exercise on mice at high risk for developing skin cancer. Results showed that mice that took a dose of caffeine and exercised with a running wheel experienced 62% fewer skin tumors. The volume of tumors also decreased by 85% compared with the mice that did not consume caffeine or exercise.

Positive effects were found with either caffeine or exercise alone, but to a lesser extent. Researchers observed a 27% reduction in tumors in caffeine-only mice and a 61% reduction in tumor size. In the exercise-only mice, researchers found that tumor activity decreased by 35% and tumor volume decreased by 70%.

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Omega-6 fatty acid-rich foods
The researchers also found that exercise and caffeine reduced weight and inflammation. They fed mice a high-fat diet of omega-6 fatty acid-rich foods and measured the volume of the parametrial fat pad (the largest fat pad in a mouse) after two weeks of exercise and/or caffeine treatment.

Mice that had caffeine and exercised had a fat pad weight decrease of 63%. Caffeine-only mice had a 30% decrease, and exercise-only mice had a 56% decrease. Development and size of cancer decreased as well. The link, Lu believes, is inflammation, which dropped as much as 92% in mice that exercised and consumed caffeine.

For more information:?
Kawasumi M, Lemos B, Bradner JE, Thibodeau R, Kim YS, Schmidt M, et al. Protection from UV-induced skin carcinogenesis by genetic inhibition of the ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase .?Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 16;108(33):13716-21. Epub 2011 Aug 15. (related study)

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