In my opinion, coffee is good, but maybe it’s even better than we thought. There have been many studies over the years looking at the health effects of this delicious beverage. Some claim it’s akin to the plague. Others lean more towards my point of view, that it’s a good thing, maybe even a very good thing.
This latest study, led by Dr. Frank Hu of Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, is one of the latter. It shows that drinking a moderate amount of coffee each day (three to five cups) provides a statistically significant amount of protection against dying from a number of causes.
Caffeinated or not doesn’t matter, either. If you need the jolt in the morning (like me), go for it. If you’re one of those who fear the caffeine jitters and the prospect of staring at the ceiling at 2:30 in the morning, drink decaf, you’ll still get all the benefits.
Quoting an article on arstechnica.com, “Though the study reveals only a correlation—not a potential cause for the life-upper—it follows decades of studies that found specific and general health benefits of coffee drinking, particularly lower risks of cardiovascular disease, liver diseases, diabetes, and overall mortality. Plus, the study’s large size helps parse other health factors, particularly smoking, that may conceal coffee’s protective effects.”
Large study size is right. Gathering information from three large clinical trials, they studied health records of over 200,000 people, spanning periods of up to 30 years.
The article also states, “Non-smoking java-junkies that throw back more than five cups a day had a mortality risk 12 percent lower than non-drinkers. Non-smokers that partake in three to five cups a day had a 15 percent lower mortality risk than non-drinkers.”
A couple things to note, though. Coffee drinkers are often smokers, too. The study shows that the good effects of coffee don’t offset the bad effects of smoking, so maybe consider trading a bad habit for a good one. Also, we tend to take a lot of sugar and cream in our java, or one (or two or three) too many sweet treats. Too much of any of those isn’t especially good, so all things in moderation.
Bottom line – enjoy that coffee!