Ongoing research into the world’s favourite recreational drug continues to suggest that coffee is nothing but god for us.
Not only have most of coffee's purported ill effects been disproven -- the most recent review fails to link it the development of hypertension -- but we have so, so much information about its benefits. We believe they extend from preventing Alzheimer's disease to protecting the liver. What we know goes beyond small-scale studies or limited observations. The past couple of years have seen findings, that, taken together, suggest that we should embrace coffee for reasons beyond the benefits of caffeine, and that we might go so far as to consider it a nutrient.
The most recent findings that support coffee as a panacea will make their premiere this December in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Coffee, researchers found, appears to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
"There have been many metabolic studies that have shown that caffeine, in the short term, increases your blood glucose levels and increases insulin resistance," Shilpa Bhupathiraju, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Nutrition and the study's lead author, told me. But "those findings really didn't translate into an increased risk for diabetes long-term." During the over 20 years of follow-up, and controlling for all major lifestyle and dietary risk factors, coffee consumption, regardless of caffeine content, was associated with an 8 percent decrease in the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. In men, the reduction was 4 percent …
A fair trade for women’s lesser ability to absorb alcohol.
"Coffee and caffeine have been inexorably intertwined in our thinking, but truth is coffee contains a whole lot of other stuff with biological benefits," said Martin. And most concerns about caffeine's negative effects on the heart have been dispelled. In June, a meta-analysis of ten years of research went so far as to find an inverse association between habitual, moderate consumption and risk of heart failure. The association peaked at four cups per day, and coffee didn't stop being beneficial until subjects had increased their daily consumption to beyond ten cups.
Caffeine might also function as a pain reliever. A study from September suggested as much when its authors stumbled across caffeinated coffee as a possible confounding variable in its study of the back, neck, and shoulder pains plaguing office drones: Those who reported drinking coffee before the experiment experienced less intense pain.
Add to that its effects in reducing measured rates of depression, coronary heart disease, strokes, prostate cancer, basal cell carcinoma, colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, fatty liver disease, fibrosis – the association for most of these, they say, “was strongest for those who drank six or more cups per day” --not to mention increasing brain function, athletic performance, mental effort and (if you like that sort of thing) sobriety.
Yes, it was observational, but the study published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at hundreds of thousands of men and women and found this bottom line result: people who drank coffee lived longer than those who didn't.
And the more they drank, the longer they lived.
See what I mean? Coffee: it’s all good!
Read the whole article here: The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like.