A Cup of Coffee A Day May Keep the Doctor Away

12 Sep

Many recent studies show that the health benefits of drinking coffee are numerous and include:

  • Cancer: Coffee might have anti-cancer properties. Last year, researchers found that coffee drinkers were 50% less likely to get liver cancer than nondrinkers. A few studies have found ties to lower rates of colon, breast, and rectal cancers.
  • Cholesterol: Two substances in coffee — kahweol and cafestol — raise cholesterol levels. Paper filters capture these substances, but that doesn’t help the many people who now drink non-filtered coffee drinks, such as lattes. Researchers have also found a link between cholesterol increases and decaffeinated coffee, possibly because of the type of bean used to make certain decaffeinated coffees.
  • Diabetes: Heavy coffee drinkers may be half as likely to get diabetes as light drinkers or nondrinkers. Coffee may contain chemicals that lower blood sugar. A coffee habit may also increase your resting metabolism rate, which could help keep diabetes at bay.
  • Parkinson’s disease: Coffee seems to protect men, but not women, against Parkinson’s disease. One possible explanation for the sex difference may be that estrogen and caffeine need the same enzymes to be metabolized, and estrogen captures those enzymes.
  • Blood pressure: Results from long-term studies are showing that coffee may not increase the risk for high blood pressure over time, as previously thought. Study findings for other cardiovascular effects are a mixed bag.

In addition, coffee is known to treat headaches, lift your mood, and reduce the risk of cavities.

A study released from the University of Scranton revealed that coffee is America’s No. 1 source of antioxidants, an important compound that protects your body from disease.

Sources:
ABC News
Harvard Health Publications
Web MD