Recent research continues to show the positive contribution that coffee and caffeine have on the body. Much to the chagrin of big pharma, the next big prescription to all that ails you may be a trip to Starbucks!
The list of coffee’s disease fighting properties continues to grow. As more research is analyzed, it appears that coffee is useful in preventing cancers, type 2 diabetes, Parkinsons disease, and even heart failure. For instance, a recent study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School, suggests that moderate coffee intake offers protection against heart failure. It found that moderate coffee drinkers were at an 11% less risk of heart failure. The study analyzed data from 5 previous studies with 140,220 participants and showed heart benefits in coffee drinkers up to about 2 8oz cups a day. The benefits declined from that point and actually showed harm after 5 cups a day. As to why there is a benefit is a bit of a mystery at this point. The strongest studies to date point to the benefits of coffee on type 2 diabetes and blood pressure, which are significant contributors to heart failure. Researchers believe that this may be the connection between coffee and the heart. This research was published in the journal Circulation Heart Failure.
Another interesting study was done by Jiali Han, Ph.D., associate professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston and Harvard School of Public Health. This study found that caffeinated coffee intake was inversely associated with the risk of basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common form of skin cancer. “I would not recommend increasing your coffee intake based on these data alone,” said Han. “However, our results add basal cell carcinoma to a list of conditions for which risk is decreased with increasing coffee consumption. This list includes conditions with serious negative health consequences such as type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.” An interesting find in this study was that the association was seen in all dietary forms of caffeine such as, chocolate and tea. There was no association found with decaffeinated coffee. This study was published in the journal Cancer Research.
Of course, as a self proclaimed caffeine addict, I applaud this research. However, I believe that the key word in most of these studies is moderation. Caffeine is a stimulant and like almost anything else in this world, excessive use could result in more harm than good. So do your body a favor today and go get yourself a hot cup of joe. Just don’t overdo it!