combined effects of exercise plus caffeine consumption may be able
to ward off skin cancer and also prevent inflammation related
conditions including 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 American Association for Cancer
Research Annual Meeting held in Chicago.
"I believe we may extrapolate these
findings to humans and anticipate that we would benefit from these
basic combination treatments as well," Dr. Lu added.
The researchers evaluated the effects of
caffeine and exercise on laboratory 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 percent fewer skin
tumors. The volume of tumors also decreased by 85 percent compared
with the mice that did not consume caffeine or exercise.
Positive effects were also
found with either caffeine or exercise alone, but to a lesser degree.
Interestingly, he researchers observed a 27 percent reduction in tumors
in the caffeine-only mice and a 61 percent reduction in tumor size. In
the exercise-only mice, researchers discovered that tumor activity
decreased by 35% and tumor volume decreased by 70%.
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 area in a mouse) after two weeks of exercise and/or
Mice that had caffeine and exercised had
a fat weight decrease of 63%. Caffeine-only mice had a 30%
decrease, and exercise-only mice had a 56% decrease. The development
and size of cancer decreased as well. Researchers believe the
correlation is inflammation, which dropped as much as 92% in mice
that exercised and consumed caffeine.