Caffeine may be Useful as a Sun Block Agent to Protect Lips
Several studies have linked drinking caffeinated beverages with lower rates of cancer. New research suggests drinking caffeine might not be the only way to reap its cancer-fighting benefits. Both coffee and tea contain powerful antioxidants, so this finding should not be too surprising. According to a summary in the August issue of New Beauty Magazine there was an interesting article about the potential for coffee to be used as a sunscreen ingredient. According to New Beauty, information from a new study was published in the prestigious scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which suggests that caffeine may eventually be used as a topical ingredient, added to sunscreen formulas, to protect the skin. Dentists should find this interesting in that this may have potential to reduce cancers of the lip if caffeine is incorporated into lip-stick or lip-balm. Attractive lips are certainly one part of a beautiful smile, along with healthy appearing teeth.
In the experiment, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one group of mice was genetically altered to suppress a protein called ATR, which promotes growth of damaged cells, while a second group of normal mice were studied as controls. In the altered mice the onset of cancer was delayed when they were exposed to ultraviolet light. Comparatively, the regular mice treated with a topical caffeine application, which also inhibits ATR, experienced a significant reduction in the growth of cancerous cells. These results are encouraging, but direct extrapolation from animal models to humans is not always possible. Therefore, scientists will need to examine whether or not caffeine has a protective effect for humans when it is applied topically to the skin or lips. If caffeine has a protective effect when incorporated into lip-stick or lip-balm, it might reduce the incidence of lip cancer which makes up about 10 to 15 percent of all oral cancers. However, it looks like we will have to wait to see how soon and if we will be able to order coffee flavored sun block at Starbucks or coffee favored lip-stick at Nordstrom’s.
Visit your favorite Seattle Cosmetic Dentist today for more information!