Jul 30 2018
Our world is filled with trends and crazes, and pop culture sometimes makes or breaks them. It happens to everything from fashion to diets, health crazes, and food fetishes. It also happens with beverages. Scientists and health experts tout the dangers of something one year and turn around and worship its benefits the next year. The world of coffee has and will continue to go through periods of flip-flopping over its healthfulness and harmfulness. But recent research shows that, for the most part, the health benefits outweigh any harmful effects. Coffee drinkers need to understand that any discussion about health benefits associated with coffee are talking about black coffee - not coffee beverages that are loaded with added ingredients that are full of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and calorie-laden flavor enhancers.
Until June of 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) believed that coffee was a possibly carcinogenic substance. In July of 2016, that was disproved when the British journal The Lancet published the results of a study that proved coffee is not a carcinogen. In June of 2016, the WHO did an about-face in a report that designated coffee as a potential protector against liver and uterine cancers.
In a September 25, 2017, post on the Harvard Health Blog website, Dr. Robert H. Shmerling shared the “Latest scoop on the health benefits of coffee.” He provided a list of diseases for which researchers are discovering that coffee consumption may lessen the risk an individual has of developing them. Those diseases include:
- Heart disease (which includes heart attack, heart failure, and stroke)
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Type II Diabetes
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Liver and uterine cancers
We know that caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive compound, but many people aren’t aware of the positive effects it can have on the brain. Those benefits (according to Healthline) include improved cognitive functioning, better memory and mood, and increased energy levels and vigilance. The positive impact that coffee has on memory has also been associated with lower instances of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia among coffee drinkers. Healthline also provided evidence from two older studies (published over a decade ago) that show coffee has valuable fat-burning benefits. One citation came from the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, and the other came from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Recent Coffee Health News
On November 23, 2017, Forbes published a story with the headline “Coffee Brings More Health Than Harm: Study.“ Researchers at the University of Southampton did the study to which the article referred, and it was an umbrella review - a study that looks at a significant amount of data from multiple studies to come up with statistical analysis. The details of the analysis were published in an article in the January 2018 edition of The British Medical Journal.
Other Proof That Coffee Is Good for You
In an article that was published online on May 5, 2017, Time offers proof that “The Case for Drinking Coffee Is Stronger Than Ever.” The news source starts by citing the results of a Gallup Poll, published in July 2015, that suggests 64 percent of Americans drink coffee every day. That percentage has remained relatively consistent since 1999.
In 2015, Time offered evidence that supports older research suggesting that coffee consumption lowers the risk of developing Type II diabetes. They cited the findings of the study which were published in the Journal of Natural Products, an online publication of the American Chemical Society. That study found that the compound cafestol, which is present in coffee, helps the body stimulate the secretion of insulin, which increases glucose uptake in the muscles. In other words, the substance helps the body do what it is supposed to do to metabolize sugar. The researchers noted that diet and exercise might prevent or delay the development of Type II Diabetes, but they also added that “high habitual coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of developing T2D.”
Most Recent Findings
On Monday, July 2, 2018, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the findings of a study that the National Cancer Institute (a branch of the National Institutes of Health) undertook to analyze the data and statistical results of a British study of 500,000 participants conducted by UK Biobank. The study required that the participants give blood samples and fill out questionnaires about their health and lifestyle. Then, researchers tracked their health over a ten-year period from 2006 to 2016. Over 14,000 participants died during the ten-year follow-up period. The study indicates that people who drink up to eight cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely from any cause. The study also concluded that those results applied to all coffee - including instant and decaf.
It is worth noting that the collectivity of these studies doesn’t offer anyone a guarantee that they won’t develop any of these diseases. It’s also critical to remind readers that coffee drinking is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and exercise, and heeding the advice of your physician.
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