Drinking Coffee - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Is that cup of coffee really good for you?

With over 500 billion cups of coffee being consumed globally each year, we thought we would look at the good and the bad and ask if that coffee bean is good for our health or if it should be avoided.

Some Good News

- Four cups of coffee a day could reduce your cardiovascular risk by an impressive 53% according to research from Brooklyn College.

- A US study found if you drink coffee every day you will reduce your risk of liver cancer by 29%.

- Not only does a cup of coffee make you more alert in the short term, research at Harvard shows that regular coffee drinkers cut their risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 60% and can halve the odds of developing Parkinson’s disease.

- University research found a double expresso turbocharges the memory for up to 24 hours.

- Next time you are feeling down, pay a trip to your local coffee shop. Research found four cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of depression by 20%.

- According to a recent study, drinking three to six cups of coffee daily reduces a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer by 60%. The result is the same for caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.

- Research from the University of Birmingham suggests runners can raise their endurance by 26% by drinking an espresso and such on coffee beans as they run.

- Every cup of coffee you drink could cut the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 10%.

- Finally, numerous studies have shown coffee boosts the metabolism and suppresses the appetite to assist with weight loss.

The Bad News

But it’s not all good news and researchers have warned that drinking 28 cups of coffee a week raises the risk of premature death, particularly for those under 55.  Excessive coffee consumption may adversely affect the body’s metabolism, outweighing some of the known health benefits listed above. Research suggests coffee stimulates the release of adrenaline, inhibits insulin activity, increases blood pressure and raises levels of homocysteine, a harmful chemical linked to heart disease and dementia. Coffee contains thousands for different chemicals, which can have both good and bad effects on health. 

There continues to be considerable debate about the health effects of drinking coffee with some suggesting its toxicity and others the beneficial effects.

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