Coffee: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

By Mark Ramos

As a nation, we are becoming much more concerned with our health, so it would only make sense that America's favorite beverage, coffee, comes under scrutiny. Yes, coffee tastes delicious and may add a little pep in your step in the morning, but how does it impact your health?

Numerous recent studies have shown that coffee drinkers when compared to those who abstain from coffee are less likely to have Parkinson's disease, type II diabetes, dementia, cancer, strokes, and heart rhythm problems. Overall, it seems that it is good news for coffee drinkers in the fact that your cup of Joe will benefit your health.

However, it is still important to keep in mind that coffee was not necessarily proven to prevent these conditions, and researchers only asked these individuals about their coffee habits. These studies are not clear in the cause and effect of coffee drinking, and it is possible that these specific coffee drinkers had other lifestyle advantages, like exercise, diet, and genetics. There is still more research needed to prove coffee's health benefits, and it has not yet been verified that coffee will prevent these diseases.

The average American drinks over 400 cups of coffee in one year alone, according to the statistics of the World Resources Institute in 2009. If you are anywhere near this average, it is essential to further understand the details of how coffee impacts your health. Fortunately, coffee has been solidly linked to reducing the risk of type II diabetes with more than 15 different studies to prove this fact. The majority of research has shown that coffee provides health benefits by preventing diabetes, and there is evidence that this benefit can also be found from drinking decaf. In the most recent study surrounding type II diabetes, Australian researchers examined 18 different studies of more than 458,000 people. They revealed a 7% reduced risk of developing type II diabetes for every additional cup of Joe consumed per day. There were similar benefits for those who drank decaf coffee and tea.

Coffee potentially prevents diabetes because of the antioxidants that neutralize free radical damage in the body. Coffee is a very strong source of antioxidants, and it also contains chromium and magnesium, which help the body regulate the blood sugar. Type II diabetes causes the loss of ability to regulate the blood sugar through using insulin, while coffee continues to provide these benefits to the body. Still, it seems that coffee has an impact on reducing the risk of type II diabetes unrelated to its caffeine content because the study participants also saw benefits when drinking decaf coffee.

If you want to protect your health and keep drinking coffee, enjoy your caffeinated coffee moderately. Coffee is a valuable source of antioxidants, yet too much caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Moderation is necessary to help you continue to enjoy your coffee and protect your health well into the future!



Mark Ramos
Article by Mark Ramos
Mark Ramos is a coffee fanatic and owns The Coffee Bump. For a great selection in all things coffee and espresso machines, check out www.thecoffeebump.com.

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