Drinking coffee daily is a normal routine for more than 108 million Americans consumers, including the majority of US adults and a growing number of children. Is this habit good for our health or is it harmful?
Coffee has been the subject of research for decades and the results consistently show that coffee is more healthful than harmful. Research takes place daily on coffee, caffeine and health around 84 coffee the world. Hundreds, if not more, of new studies are published every month by scientists and research institutes worldwide.
Coffee has two main ways of improving the health of your body: antioxidants and caffeine. Both of these substances have health and anti aging benefits. Antioxidants help your body repair damage to cells caused by free radicals. These free radicals are produced as a by-product of cells through normal daily activities.
The health benefits of coffee are many and the research supports them. For example,
ASTHMA RELIEF: caffeine can help manage asthma and even control attacks when medication is not available. Did you know that a single dose of pain reliever such as Anacin or Excedrin contains up to 120 milligrams of caffeine? This is the equivalent of a hefty cup of coffee.
CAVITY PROTECTION: caffeine can prevent cavities because of a compound called trigonelline which gives coffee its aroma and bitter taste. Trigonelline has both anti-bacterial and anti-adhesive properties that help prevent dental cavities from forming.
CHOLESTEROL: a paper filter is worth a “pound of cure” or so. There are two substances in coffee, kahweol and cafestol, that raise cholesterol levels. During the brewing process, paper filters capture these substances. Paper filters, in this case, help in the prevention of harmful cholesterol levels. Coffee drinkers who drink non-filtered coffees such as “lattes,” which do not use paper filters, may want to reconsider their choice and frequency of beverage for their own health benefit.
COLON CANCER: drinking at least two cups of coffee daily can translate into a 25% reduced risk of colon cancer. Coffee drinkers, as compared to non coffee drinkers, appear to be 50% less likely to get liver cancer. They also have lower rates of colon, breast and rectal cancers. There is a powerful antioxidant found almost exclusively in coffee, methylpyridinium, that boosts blood enzymes widely believed to protect against colon cancer. Methylpyridinium is formed in the roasting process from a chemical found naturally in coffee beans. Dark roasted coffees contain two to three times more of this antioxidant than medium roasts.
CIRRHOSIS: coffee drinkers have up to 80% reduced risk to suffer from cirrhosis than non coffee drinkers. People who smoke and are heavy drinkers have less liver damage as compared to those who do not. The reduced risk of alcohol cirrhosis may be associated with the phenolics and related substances in coffee.
DEMENTIA: drinking coffee during middle age may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and the risk of dementia in the elderly. Coffee drinkers at midlife have a lower risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s later in life than people who drank little or no coffee at midlife. Moderate coffee drinkers had up to a 65% decrease risk of contracting these conditions as compared with low coffee drinkers.
GALLSTONES: certain compounds in coffee may help prevent liquid stored in the gallbladder (“bile”) from crystallizing or hardening. This is what causes gallstones and obstructs the bile duct, a narrow tube which leads from the gallbladder to the intestine. Gallstones are painful and patients can experience fever and jaundice. Coffee drinkers have almost a 50% reduced risk of suffering from gallstone disease as compared to non coffee drinkers.