Exercise and caffeine consumption are two popular activities, so it is heartening to think that combining the two may offer some health benefits.
A new study performed at the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in Piscataway N.J. was presented at the AACR annual meeting March 31 to April 4, 2012. The research showed that this combination might help ward off skin cancer as well as prevent inflammation in other cancers that are affected by obesity.
The study was performed on 160 female mice that were at high risk for developing skin cancer. The mice were exposed to low-dose UV light once a day, 5 days a week for 20 weeks, to model human exposure to UV radiation.
In previous studies, the researchers have found that mice treated with just caffeine or just exercise via a running wheel, each showed a reduction of skin cancer occurrence. In this study, they wanted to explore whether there was a synergistic inhibitory effect on skin cancer development from both together.
Researchers found that mice that consumed caffeine and exercised on a running wheel developed 62 percent fewer skin tumors. Mice that consumed caffeine only or exercised only, did have benefits but at much lesser levels of 27 and 35 percent respectively.
The tumor size of the skin cancers were also 85 percent less in the caffeine/exercise mice while the tumor size of the caffeine-only mice had a lesser reduction of only 61 percent and 70 percent in the exercise-only mice.
To further explore the effect of caffeine and exercise on weight and inflammation, the researchers fed mice a high-fat diet of omega-6 fatty acid rich foods. Then after two weeks, they measured the volume of the parametrial fat pad (the largest fat pad in a mouse) in all the groups of mice.
“Mice that had caffeine and exercised had a fat pad weight decrease of 63 percent. Caffeine-only mice had a 30 percent decrease, and exercise-only mice had a 56 percent decrease. Development and size of cancer decreased as well,” according to Medicalxpress.com.
Yao-Pin Lu, PH.D.