Coffee: One of the Healthiest Drinks You Consume


| 8 Comments

                When most people want to get a healthy drink they go with water, fresh juice, or milk.  Not many think to choose coffee.  While it is not completely proven that coffee is good for you, there are definitely some serious health benefits associated with it.  The benefits of drinking coffee include decreased risk of diabetes, decreased risk of heart problems and stroke, decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, and possible decreased risk of cancer (WebMD).  It is interesting to see how healthy a drink that people once thought was bad for us might be.

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                 When it comes to coffee, it is difficult to say if all of its possible benefits are directly cause by it or if some of that is just caused by chance or other confounding variables.  Of all the health benefits related to coffee that have been studied, diabetes has the most evidence supporting it.  There have been numerous studies on the relationship between drinking coffee and getting diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.   Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health took a look at some of these past studies.  He and his colleagues learned that of the 193,000 people observed, those who drank four to six cups of coffee per day were almost 30% less likely to get type 2 diabetes.  Another study performed in Australia on a smaller group of people determined that each cup of coffee drunk on a daily basis reduced the chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by about 7%.  Although these studies don't necessarily prove that coffee prevents diabetes, the evidence definitely suggests it, and it doesn't seem to be too farfetched of an idea.  Coffee contains an abundance of antioxidants and minerals known to keep blood sugar levels under control (WebMD).

                The other health benefits of coffee aren't as strongly supported, but they do have some evidence to back them up.  Coffee can potentially lower the risk of heart problems and strokes.  This is due to a couple of reasons.  One is that, by reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, coffee drinkers also decrease the risk of heart problems and strokes.  This is because diabetes is known to increase the chances of these conditions.  The other is that coffee lowers chances of irregular heart rhythms.  Studies have also been done on coffee's relationship to Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.  The reason coffee prevents Parkinson's disease is thought to be the caffeine, but it is unknown it reduces chances of Alzheimer's (WebMD).  Believe it or not, coffee has also been linked to decreased chances of cancer.  A 2005 study discovered that coffee drinkers were 50% less likely to get liver cancer.  Other studies suggest coffee may reduce chances of colon, breast, and rectal cancers (Harvard Medical School). 

                With all these amazing health benefits associated to coffee, it is astonishing to think that we once thought it was an unhealthy beverage.  There may be some minor downsides to drinking coffee such as stained teeth and heartburn, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  What heavy coffee drinkers need to be careful about is the amount of cream and sugar and other sweeteners added to it.  Those are what really have the bad health effects, not the coffee itself.  I thought it was interesting to read how healthy coffee is and how recently we found this out.  It makes me wonder if there are any other healthy foods and drinks out there right in front of our eyes that we don't even know about and when we will learn of them.



Works Cited:


"Coffee's Health Benefits." The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Harvard Health Publications, n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2012.


"Health Benefits of Coffee - WebMD." WebMD. WebMD, 30 Jan. 0000. Web. 05 Dec. 2012.

 

8 Comments

Hey guys, sorry the picture is too big to view on the blog. Here is a link to view the full picture.

I personally disagree with the statements of this blog, but more specifically with the point that is may lower risk of heart related issues. The issue I have with coffee is the amount of caffeine it contains. According to the same site as your source, caffeine causes increase blood pressure and risk of heart disease. (http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20020801/is-caffeine-bad-for-your-heart)So which article to trust? I am struggling to agree with lots of caffeine being beneficial to ones heart.

I think this article is really interesting--especially since I drink a cup of coffee at least every day. However, I agree with the person above me, and I'm not sure if I find this completely realistic. First of all, if it were proven (as much as science can prove anything) that coffee really had all of these health benefits, I think people would be encouraged to drink it. Second of all, coffee also has many negative side affects. According to an article on Livestrong (http://www.livestrong.com/article/128501-negative-health-effects-drinking-coffee/), coffee can contribute to: high cholesterol levels, blood pressure, homocysteine (which can increase the risk of heart disease, strokes and peripheral vascular disease), dehydration and withdrawal symptoms. So although it may contribute to some of these other health benefits, it seems to me that there are also major health risks with drinking coffee. It would be interesting to have an experimental study done on coffee drinkers versus non-coffee drinkers over a period of years to continue to test the affects of coffee on drinkers.

Going off of what the other commenters have already said, I think it's important to figure out the ideal amount of coffee one should drink in order to reap the benefits you described without going overboard and causing other health problems. I also have to wonder just what it is about coffee that helps your health (the antioxidants? the caffeine?), and if, say, some one drinking it with cream/sugar or decaffeinated would experience different health results than some one who drank black coffee.

I have to disagree with the fact that coffee would be the healthiest drinks I consume. Coffee is good to smell if you want to get a certain smell out of your nose (that's why you smell it in between smelling perfumes). Though you have good reasons, coffee also has negative effects. It may be good for some people but not for all. Coffee is addictive and it would never be recommended by a doctor. Coffee can give people headaches, can cause insomnia, heartburn and palpitations . Coffee can also be linked to pancreatic cancer.
I think the negative effects of coffee outweigh the benefits. There are too many health risks that come with coffee. The only reason why everyone drinks it is because it's a lifestyle, a way society is ran.
Interesting read though! I used to think that coffee was fully bad, I didn't know it could prevent diseases.

It seems like the health benefits/risks of certain foods seem to fluctuate all the time. In 2006, eggs were seen as beneficial and healthy as seen here. Then, this year, we have this. This blog is good news to me because I drink a lot of coffee, but for all we know, they'll figure out that coffee gives people brain tumors or something.

I wonder if this could be like having a glass of wine. According to the article "Is wine good for you?" by Joy Bauer, wine "has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain cancers and slow the progression of neurological degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease". So this is probably like having a cup of coffee and getting the benefits that you listed above. So maybe it is good to have a cup a coffee in the morning and a glass of wine at night, and it will help live a longer better life.

Here is the link for that article (http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/21478144/ns/today-today_health/t/wine-good-you/#.UMD_fKVgNFI)

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