Coffee Health BenefitsWithin the last decade, there have been studies revealing that coffee, instead of being the "vice" it's been considered for so many years, might actually have health benefits. When people think of coffee, they usually only consider the caffeine. But coffee actualyl contains hundreds of different chemicals and compounds, the effect of which are still being investigated and discovered.
A recently completed study by Harvard examined the coffee drinking habits of 130,000 volunteers and their health for 18 to 24 years. The summary finding? No relationship between coffee and an increased risk of death from any cause. Some participants in the study drank up to six cups of coffee per day and showed no higher risk. The conclusion researchers arrived at was that coffee doesn't have any detrimental health effects. Good new fot those of you who can't do without your daily cup(s) of joe!
Some of the reported benefits derived from coffee come directly from its caffeine content. An 8-ounce cup (1 serving) of drip-brewed coffee (coffee made using a coffee filter) contains about 85mg of caffeine, 3.5 times more than 1 serving of tea, cola, or 1 ounce of chocolate. The caffeine in coffee also helps treat asthma and headaches. You probably didn't know it, but a dose of Anacin or Excedrin contains up to 120mg of caffeein, about the same as in 1.5 cups of coffee.
Health conditions that might be affected by coffee:
A cup of caffeinated coffee can temporarily cause an increase in blood pressure, but new studies have shown there is no lasting effect. If you already have high blood pressure though, you might want to consult with yotu docotor about your caffeine intake, especially if you drink multiple cups of coffee (or other caffeine containing beverages) a day.
People who regularly drink coffee had a slightly lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease. There's a lot of ongoing research right now in this area, so stay tuned for more news.
It's possible that coffee might might have cancer fighting prperties. Recent research revealed coffee drinkers had a 50% lower risk of liver cancer than nondrinkers. Other studies have shown lower rates of other types of cancer as well, including breast, colon, and rectal.
Coffee contains two compounds, kahweol and cafestol, that actually raise cholesterol levels. When coffee is made using a paper filter, these chemicals are filtered out. But those users who make coffee without using a filter are getting these compounds in their coffee. Cafestol is a stimulator of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (can raise LDL levels). When you brew coffee with a paper filter, it removes the oil that contains Cafestol. If you make your coffee using a method that doesn't involve filtering (such as a French press) it ends up being much higher in cafestol. People who have high cholesterol or are borderline would be better off using a coffee maker that has a paper filter or using instant coffee.
People who drink a lot of coffee have a much lower incident of than peopel who only drink one cup a day or who don'tdrink coffee at all. Drinking 3 or more cups of coffee per day may also increase a person's resting metabolism, which could burn extra calories and help prevent diabetes. There have been studies that concluded there's a relationship between high consumption of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, but there isn't any long-term data on coffee consumption and glucose levels. For diabetics, switching from caffeinated coffee to decaf may be bettersince there's some research that shows decaffeinated coffee reduces glucose response.
Don't want to suffer from gallstone disease? Start drinking coffee. Coffee has been shown to alter the cholesterol content of the bile produced by the liver, which can result in a lower incident of gallstones.
Research has indicated coffee can help prevent Parkinson's disease in men, but, for some reason, not in women. It might be that there's some relationship between estrogen and coffee that prevents this positive effect. It's so pronounced that there are actually Parkinson's drugs in development right now that contain a derivative of caffeine.
Caffeine passes through the placenta and reaches the fetus, which is very sensitive to caffeine. Because the organs of a fetus are underdeveloped, the caffeine gets metabolized very slowly and can take a long time to be eliminated. It's recommended that perganant woman reduce caffeine intake to no more than 100mgs a day, which is about the amount in a single cup of coffee