Coffee Drinking Could Improve Your Health

December 18, 2012

Biology

hot-cup-of-java

Credit: waferboard/Flickr

The American Medical Association recommends that moderate tea or coffee drinking will likely have no ill effect on health, as long as people live a healthy lifestyle. Now recent research has shown that drinking coffee can actually have some benefits.

Researchers think that some of the benefits of drinking coffee range from preventing Alzheimer’s disease¹ to protecting the liver². Most recently, findings support that coffee appears to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes³. Short term metabolic studies have shown that increases in blood glucose levels increases insulin resistance. Over a 20-year follow-up, and controlling for all major lifestyle and dietary risk factors, coffee consumption, regardless of caffeine content, was associated with an 8% decrease in the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. In men, the reduction was 4% for regular coffee and 7% for decaf.

The add-ons, like sugary syrups, that some people put in their coffee are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, not the coffee itself. And recent research found an inverse association between habitual, moderate consumption and risk of heart failure. The association peaked at four cups per day, and coffee didn’t stop being beneficial until subjects had increased their daily consumption to beyond ten cups⁴.

Although some of the chemicals in coffee are known carcinogens, other studies found that coffee can protect against some cancers. For now, it appears that there is more evidence that coffee is beneficial and recent research has shown that people who drank coffee lived longer than those who didn’t.

References

  1. M. Eskelinen, T. Ngandu, J Tuomilehto, H. Soininen, M. Kivipelto, IOS Press, 1387-2877, p85-91, Midlife Coffee and Tea Drinking and the Risk of Late-Life Dementia: A Population-Based CAIDE Study, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
  2. C. E. Ruhl, J. Everhart, Volume 129, Issue 6 , Pages 1928-1936, December 2005 Coffee and Tea Consumption Are Associated With a Lower Incidence of Chronic Liver Disease in the United States, Gastroenterology.
  3. S. N Bhupathiraju, A. Pan, V. S Malik, J. E Manson, W. C Willett, R. M v. Dam, F. B Hu, Caffeinated and caffeine-free beverages and risk of type 2 diabetes, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Am J Clin Nutr December 2012 ajcn.048603.
  4. Circ Heart Fail. 2012;112.967299v1

[via The Atlantic]

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