Is coffee bad for you?
Anyone who awakens each day eager to get a jolt from their morning joe probably doesn’t think so—or at least, they hope that science will eventually prove they aren’t killing themselves as they pour that second (third, or fourth) cup.
Despite previous evidence that coffee may be questionable when it comes to staying healthy—research in recent years has increasingly suggested that the breakfast brew actually has health benefits.
Consider the following studies:
- The Mayo Clinic: Studies have shown that coffee may protect against Parkinson’s disease, type-2 diabetes, and liver disease—including liver cancer. Additionally, “coffee appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression,” according to docs at Mayo medics.
- The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute: A giant 2012 study on the effect of coffee concluded that drinking three or more cups of coffee each day actually lowers the risk of death—regardless of whether you drink caffeinated or decaf. Not only that, but another Cleveland Clinic study conducted in 2011 found that men who drink six or more cups of coffee daily reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 20 percent. Fascinating, too, is a new study that found people who regularly drink soda—regular or diet—face a greater risk of stroke than those who don’t. On the other hand, drinking coffee instead of soda seems to cut the risk of stroke.
- Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Journal: A 2011 study found that women who drank more than four cups of coffee a day had a 25 percent lower risk of endometrial cancer.
Researchers around the world have come to similar conclusions:
- In Japan—coffee is good, and less is more: A study of 76,000 Japanese participants found that men consuming only one or two cups of coffee per day reduced their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by as much as 38 percent. The reason? The caffeine might help your small blood vessels work better, which could ease strain on the heart.
- In Norway—coffee provides pain relief: Researchers from Norway’s National Institute of Occupational Health and Oslo University Hospital have more good news for coffee drinkers. The beans coffee is brewed from can help with weight loss, reduce one’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, boost muscle growth, protect against certain types of cancers, and can even reduce one’s risk of premature death, among many other benefits. They also noticed that people who drank coffee reported a lower intensity of pain than people who didn’t.
Why does coffee make us feel better?
- Scientists tell us that the caffeine in the beverage blocks the inhibitory transmitter in the brain, which causes a stimulant effect versus a placebo effect.
- That’s not all. It is also believed that caffeine helps burn fat and boost the metabolism. That means it may have weight control benefits as well.
- So why all the controversy? Researches admit that they are realizing older studies about coffee included people who also smoked and were less physically active, which may have negatively impacted the results.
As with everything regarding your good health:
Follow your doctor’s advice—and trust your own instincts. If four cups of coffee makes you feel like you might jump out of your skin, pull back, even though studies show it that much may lower your risk of endometrial cancer.
Similarly, if a couple of cups make you feel great—savor the flavor, and the boost, knowing you just might be doing your body good.
We raise your mugs to you, and leave you with these amusing observations. — BeInkandescent
“It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.” — Dave Barry
“Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?” — Steven Wright
“We want to do a lot of stuff; we’re not in great shape. We didn’t get a good night’s sleep. We’re a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup.” — Jerry Seinfeld