The Science Behind Coffee and Why it’s Actually Good for Your Health. Lifehacker summarizes the reasons and links to the scientific studies.
Coffee Can Make You Smarter
Bottom Line: Caffeine potently blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, leading to a net stimulant effect. Controlled trials show that caffeine improves both mood and brain function.
Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat and Improves Physical Performance
Bottom Line: Caffeine raises the metabolic rate and helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues. It can also enhance physical performance.
Coffee May Drastically Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes
Bottom Line: Drinking coffee is associated with a drastically reduced risk of type II diabetes. People who drink several cups per day are the least likely to become diabetic.
Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Bottom Line: Coffee is associated with a much lower risk of dementia and the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Coffee May be Extremely Good For Your Liver
Bottom Line: Coffee appears to be protective against certain liver disorders, lowering the risk of liver cancer by 40% and cirrhosis by as much as 80%.
Coffee May Decrease Your Risk of Dying
Bottom Line: Coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of death in prospective epidemiological studies, especially in type II diabetics.
Coffee is Loaded With Nutrients and Antioxidants
Bottom Line: Coffee contains a decent amount of several vitamins and minerals. It is also the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet.
Take Home Message
Even though coffee in moderate amounts is good for you, drinking way too much of it can still be harmful. I'd also like to point out that many of the studies above were epidemiological in nature. Such studies can only show association, they can not prove that coffee caused the effects. To make sure to preserve the health benefits, don't put sugar or anything nasty in your coffee! If it tends to affect your sleep, then don't drink it after 2pm. At the end of the day, it does seem quite clear that coffee is NOT the villain it was made out to be. If anything, coffee may literally be the healthiest beverage on the planet.
Posted by Jill Fallon at February 27, 2013 11:30 PM | Permalink