Science has revealed some interesting facts about coffee consumption. If you have been debating on whether that second or third cup is going to help or hinder you in the health department you may want to read on. There have been some recent studies that seem to suggest that moderate coffee consumption is beneficial.
How The Study Was Conducted
Study subjects were followed for up to 30 years in order to collect data. They were provided questionnaires every four years in which researchers were able to assess the coffee drinking.
People who had less than 5 cups of coffee a day experienced a lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, Type 2 diabetes, and suicide.
Interestingly enough, the benefits were seen in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. This suggests that it might not be the caffeine but the actual coffee beans that are creating the benefit.
A Science-y Explanation
According to Ming Ding, M.D., the study’s first author and doctoral student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, “Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation. They might be responsible for the inverse association between coffee and mortality. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”
A Surprising Link
The study also references the fact that coffee drinkers are more likely to smoke and drink alcohol. If you take this into consideration and do the testing only on non-smokers (never-smokers to be more specific), the protective benefits in coffee are glaringly evident.
The Cold Hard Numbers
The data gathered for this research is from 3 long term studies. The first contains 74,890 women in the Nurses’ Health Study. The second group is made of 93,054 of women in Nurses’ Health Study 2. The final group contains 40,557 men and is known as Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.
Deaths during the study totaled 19,524 women and 12,432 men. There was a range of what caused their deaths.
Who Should Avoid Coffee
Though the benefits are obvious, there are some groups that should limit their drinking of coffee a little more. Pregnant women and children should be cautious about the caffeine intake that might accompany the coffee.
Though the study did seem to create links between coffee drinking and dying from some illnesses, there will need to be more studies done before anyone can say (without a doubt) that the correlations exist. This particular study was not conducted to asses a direct cause and effect between the illnesses and coffee drinking.
Before anything like that can be proven there would be a more reliable test. For instance, this test allowed the study subjects to fill out the amounts of coffee they consumed. In future studies it may be more reliable to have the researchers confirm and measure the amounts to verify.
We should also note that previous studies have not been able to see associations between coffee drinking and death related to specific death types.
An interesting question is if different types of coffee could have different types of benefits, or if all of them have the same positive effects? This is something that will hopefully be studied in the future as well.
Coffee can be part of a healthy well-balanced diet. Studies show that there are health benefits in consuming a moderate amount of coffee each day. The moderate amount is classified as less than 5 cups a day. If you are pregnant, you should be aware of the caffeine associated with drinking coffee and adjust your intake with the guidance of your doctor.
For more details please see the article from Science Daily by clicking here.
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