New Look at Coffee
Recent research suggests coffee is more than a delicious treat. It has real health benefits for most people, especially as we age, says Peter Dingle PhD
Coffee is the most widely consumed beverage in the United States (US) and one of the most popular drinks in Australia and is the principal source of caffeine intake among adults. The biological effects of coffee may be substantial and are not limited to the actions of caffeine. Coffee is a complex beverage containing hundreds of biologically active compounds, and the health effects of chronic coffee intake are wide ranging.
Coffee includes a wide array of components that can have potential implication on health, including caffeine, chlorogenic acids and diterpenes. The information gathered in recent years has generated a new concept of coffee, one that does not match the common belief that coffee is mostly harmful.
While there are still some concerns about coffee consumption during pregnancy and the effects of caffeine on the young (kids), there is a significant positive impact of coffee on the cardiovascular system, and on the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It is also important to note that science is not black or white on most topics related to health as there are too many confounding factors to consider. That is why there will never be a definitive study to prove coffee is good or bad.
The good news for those coffee drinkers is that contrary to previous beliefs, the various forms of arterial cardiovascular disease, arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) or heart insufficiency seem unaffected by coffee intake. Coffee is associated with a reduction in the incidence of diabetes and liver disease. Protection seems to exist also for Parkinson's disease among the neurological disorders, while its potential as an osteoporosis risk factor is under debate. Its effect on cancer risk depends on the tissue concerned, although it appears to favour risk reduction and lowering the risk of cancer overall.
Overall, coffee consumption seems to reduce mortality(1) and the biggest benefits appear to be as we age. Personally, while it might be beneficial as we age and I love the smell, I don’t like the taste so I will stick to my tea.
From a cardiovascular standpoint, coffee consumption reduces the risks of Type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypertension, as well as other conditions associated with cardiovascular risk such as obesity and depression; but it may adversely affect lipid (fat) profiles depending on how the beverage is prepared, especially if prepared with lots of sugar. Moreover, large epidemiological studies suggest that regular coffee drinkers have reduced risks for mortality, both cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.
The potential benefits also include protection against neurodegenerative diseases, improved asthma control, and lower risk of some gastrointestinal diseases. A daily intake of about two to three cups of coffee appears to be safe and is associated with beneficial effects for most of the studied health outcomes.
>> Read this Article <<
Read other Articles