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 disease to protecting the liver. Most recently, findings support that coffee appears to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. 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 cups.
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.
- “Midlife Coffee and Tea Drinking and the Risk of Late-Life Dementia: A Population-Based CAIDE Study” by Marjo H. Eskelinen, Tiia Ngandu, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Hilkka Soininen and Miia Kivipelto, 4 January 2009, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
- “Coffee and Tea Consumption Are Associated With a Lower Incidence of Chronic Liver Disease in the United States” by Constance E. Ruhl and James E. Everhart, 1 December 2005, Gastroenterology.
- “Caffeinated and caffeine-free beverages and risk of type 2 diabetes” by Shilpa N Bhupathiraju, An Pan, Vasanti S Malik, JoAnn E Manson, Walter C Willett, Rob M van Dam and Frank B Hu, 14 November 2012, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- “Habitual Coffee Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure – A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis” by Elizabeth Mostofsky, Megan S. Rice, Emily B. Levitan and Murray A. Mittleman, 26 June 2012, Circulation: Heart Failure.
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