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Coffee appears to be good for your health

Written by Diane Archer

In the category of almost too good to believe, coffee appears to be good for your health. The U.S.D.A. in its dietary guidelines for Americans says that up to five cups of coffee a day could have health benefits. So, in addition to being the most popular central nervous stimulant in the world, coffee has been found to stave off cancer, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease–possibly because of its antioxidants and phenolic compounds.

  • Longer life: A recent study of more than half a million people, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that people who drink between one and four cups of coffee a day, caffeinated or decaffeinated, over the course of 16 years lower their chances of dying from a variety of health conditions. Men who drank three or more cups of coffee a day were 18 percent less likely to die than people who did not drink coffee; women who drank three or more cups of coffee a day were eight percent less likely to die.
  • Less likelihood of heart disease: A meta-study of 36 studies published in Circulationfound that people who drank three to five cups of coffee a day had the lowest risk of heart disease.
  • Less likelihood of stroke: A meta-study of nine studies published in the Korean Journal of Family Medicine, found that people who drank four or more cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of stroke.
  • Less likelihood of liver cancer: A meta-study of four cohort and five case-control studies published in Science Direct found that people who drank two or more cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of liver cancer.
  • Less likelihood of depression for older women: A  2011 Harvard School of Public Health study of 53,000 women who drank four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that they had a 20 percent lower risk of depression than women who drank little coffee a day. The women studied averaged 63 years old.
  • Less likelihood of type 2 diabetes: A 2014 Harvard School of Public Health study found that people who increased their daily coffee intake by at least a cup a day over four years reduced their chances of type 2 diabetes by 11 percent relative to people who did not. It further found that people who decreased their daily coffee intake by more than a cup a day increased their risk of type 2 diabetes by 17 percent relative to those who did not.
  • Less likelihood of Parkinson’s disease for people drinking three cups of coffee a day.
  • Possibly less likelihood of dementia and cognitive declinebut no evidence as to daily intake of coffee needed.

This all said, people with acid reflux should likely avoid coffee because of its acidic properties.

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