Skip to comments.Ten Health Benefits of Coffee-(in related news smoking does wonders more at 10)
Posted on 10/16/2005 7:15:01 AM PDT by Flavius
It may be time to take coffee off the list of life's guilty pleasures. New studies indicate that moderate coffee drinkers can not only enjoy their morning java jolt, but they may also get significant health benefits in the process.
This is good news for the millions of people who cannot seem to get through the day without an infusion of caffeine. Coffee is one of the few drinks that is universal. From cafes in Paris to truck stops in Japan to pubs in New South Wales, whether served as a hot, black shot of espresso, diluted with milk and sugar, or rendered virtually unrecognizable in a Starbucks' Caramel Macchiato, more than $70 billion worth of coffee is sold every year, according to the London-based International Coffee Organization. In the U.S. alone--which is the world's largest coffee consumer--the National Coffee Association of U.S.A. (NCA) estimates that retail sales alone are $19.2 billion.
Despite earlier beliefs that coffee has negative health effects, it is becoming increasingly clear that the opposite is in fact the case. Coffee consumption is now being linked to the lowered occurance of cases of certain cancers and chronic diseases. One study, conducted by the Harvard University School of Public Health, shows that the risk for developing Type II diabetes is lower among regular coffee drinkers. There are even studies that link coffee to added endurance during physical workouts.
"The problem is that there is a preconceived notion that coffee is bad. It arrived relatively early when the studies weren't at the level of current studies," says Peter R. Martin, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. "There's no compelling evidence that shows it's harmful, and everyday there's more evidence that shows coffee is beneficial."
But that isn't an excuse for a person to increase their coffee intake. It means that a moderate daily dose could very well be justified, as long as one keeps in mind that too much coffee can make a person jittery and uncomfortable.
According to the NCA, 80% of Americans drink coffee, and more than half of the population drinks it every day. It's the popularity of coffee that makes it the main source of antioxidants for Americans.
"Plants produce a lot of antioxidants. These compounds prevent the sun from causing free-radical damage to the plants," says Professor Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. "That's why they may be good for the human body. I think antioxidants are the actual major causes of decreases in diseases. We consume fats and sugars that produce free radicals, and vitamins can't fight them alone. They need antioxidants."
Vinson and his team studied the content of antioxidants in various foods, like vegetables, fruits, tea and cocoa. They eventually decided to look at coffee as well. When they did, they found that both regular and decaffeinated coffee contain significant amounts of antioxidants, though Vinson does note that fruits and vegetables are more nutritious sources.
What kind of health benefits can people expect to receive from drinking coffee? According to Martin, "Predominantly in epidemiologic studies, there have been associations between coffee consumption and lowered rates of certain illnesses, like suicide, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, Type II diabetes, colon cancer and heart disease." (Epidemiologic studies are often historical trials that are not considered definitive by clinicians.)
While it doesn't matter what type of roast a person drinks--the benefits come from both Arabica or Robusta beans--Dr. Ernesto Illy, honorary chairman of espresso giant illycaffe S.p.A, whose coffee is sold in over 80 countries, says quality is what makes drinking coffee so pleasurable.
Dr. Illy has been drinking coffee all of his life and, at the age of 80, he's healthy and drinks four cups per day. His family-owned, Trieste-based company uses only the more expensive Arabica bean, combining quality and science to create what he calls a perfect cup of coffee. To him, aroma and taste are the key to enjoyment.
While more studies are being conducted to further explore coffee's effects, plenty of benefits are already known. Now if only the same could be said of martinis... ADVERTISEMENT click here Yahoo! Finance Weekend
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ahh, you have to love the incredible scientific minds
Ok, but what about CHOCOLATE!
who did this study - the coffee sellers association of America?
What about green tea?
Coffee causes road rage. That study I did myself...
What study is next?
must be the chocolate trading association does not have enough cash to sponsor amazing howard study
Funding for these studies was provided by the NCA & ICA ?
Dark Chocolate contains flavonoids that are actually very good for you.
I love the fact that they have been going after coffee for decades now and still have not managed to pin any ill effects on it when drunk by normal people.
ROTFLMAO! I go delirious without coffee...[/blank stare]
ROTFLMAO! I go delirious without coffee...[/blank stare]
Booze also causes road rage.
When people criticize my cigars (usually the nose-curling, disgusted look), I point out: "They are 100% vegetarian, caffeine free, and cholesterol free. No trans-fatty acides. AND I help the poor people of Central America by giving them jobs."
When I was a child and wanted to drink coffee with my parents, they told me that if kids drank coffee it would make them short and brown. I haven't seen any studies on this so I think they just didn't want to share.
Except for the helping people of Central America I could say the same thing about my farts. Oh, except my farts smell better...
Chocolate is right up there, don't you worry. First, it raises and evens out your serotonin levels. So you eat it, sacrificially, for those around you. Second, it is rich in anti-oxidants, so that's a plus. And it smooths out life's little pebbles in the road -- bad drivers, idiot petty tyrants, etc. I believe it is a Gift from God.
The obvious downside - - coffee impairs your math ability. I count at the most 7 health benefits.
Life used to be better before Starbucks replaced the corner tavern.
I didn't need a study to tell me that coffee is one of God's greatest inventions.
Chocolate gets rid off migraine headaches and menstrual cramps.
Coffee is, of course, wonderful.
Beer, in moderation, prolongs life.
This is all proof that there is a God and that He wants us to be happy.
whats the short synopsis
Then why did he inflict Ted Kennedy on us?
Oh my God! My grandparents did the same thing! Told me it would stunt my growth! But I wheedled and whined anyway till I got it and by the age of 14, if I didn't have my coffee in the morning, I couldn't imagine going to school. And I am happy to report that I am of average height. And still addicted.
Actually, I have a funny coffee story. One year in grad school over winter break I became very depressed. I was living in a small college town in the midwest and it was very bleak there in winter. Everyone had gone home for the holidays but me. I felt tired, sick, and broke. And I just grew glum. And glummer. And glummer. My head hurt all the time. I'd drink pot after pot of coffee and think, "What is the point of life, anyway? Why even keep going?"
One day as I was making my third pot (an unusually high level of consumption even for me) I was brooding about pain and despair ... and happened to take a good look at the bag of coffee beans I was just about to grind up... and noticed I'd bought decaf by mistake!
Dear Lord! Catastrophe! I dropped everything, jumped in my car, sped desperately to the store and got some REAL coffee, brought it home, brewed it up feverishly, gulped it down like it was anti-venom and I had a snake hanging off my thigh...
...and it was like a country music song being played backwards! My headache went away, my depression went away, the sun came out, birds started singing.... ROTFLMAO!! Man, that was a trip.
To give us a reason to drink that beer.
Why'd you have to post that? Now I've got to detox. Just thinking about detoxing from caffeine makes me irritable.
Chocolate is good for you.
Coffee is also a good substitute for Viagra. It will keep you up all night.
As best as I can remember...
That coffee/caffeine has very, very big effects on the body, and most of them not good. The author is a researcher himself, not some self-appointed health guru just repeating stuff passed around by others. After I read the book I said "WHOA, this is a serious drug".
Hey, that was my line. Anyway, nothing says "screw you" like the smoke from a fine cigar. It's just the same thing with a good fart, only anyone can blow off a good fart, so the effect is not the same.
Chocolate. Latin name Theobroma, literally 'Food of the Gods'...
It's good for some and not good for others. Personally, I've cut down on coffee a lot and stopped a few times. I have a history of fibroids and ought not to be drinking any at all.
I eat raw chocolate since I think there's too much sugar in milk chocolate. Dark chocolate with at least 60% cacao is also good and probably more platable than raw cacao.
Liberty Wins ~ Then why did he inflict Ted Kennedy on us?
With all that alcohol on board, why isn't Teddy happy? (Guilt maybe???)
Chocolate GIVES me a miagraine headache.
Chocolate is the foundation of the food pyramid.
Here are some reviews of the book Caffeine Blues on Amazon:
Informative with SCIENTIFIC PROOF, August 20, 2005
Reviewer: Brian Beene (OKC, OK USA) - See all my reviews
This book rocked my world. I was addicted to caffeine for years and stopped cold turkey after reading this book. I really do feel better, like I can think clearer. To those who bash this book, quit being in denial that your addiction is controlling you. There is another book that preaches the gifts that caffeine gives you, but then gives NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF. Not only that, but it was written by an ADVERTISING COPY WRITER WHOSE CLIENTS INCLUDE SOME OF THE WORLDS LARGEST PHARMACEUTICAL FIRMS. If that's not tooting your own horn I don't know what is. My rose tinted glasses are off the the world is ugly and unappealing; so now i'm preaching the evils of caffeine! Thanx Mr. Cherniske =)
Reviewer: David R. Bess (Charleston, WV) - See all my reviews
Cherniske here makes a bold, spirited case for abstinence from caffeine. While some people may feel his tone is zealous to a fault, the truth of his words cannot be denied. Caffeine IS an addictive drug. Caffeine IS harmful for the body. Granted, there are many other things we consume that are harmful as well, but that does not negate the author's argument.
I have been a coffee lover for many years, but have been a believer in physical fitness and sensible nutrition for an even longer period of time. In the back of my mind I always have been aware of the perils of caffeine. This author has brought all those thoughts to the forefront. As a result, I am weaning myself off this harmful, yet widely accepted, substance.
Yes, pretty much everyone in our society drinks caffeine, blind to the dangers. Fifty years ago pretty much everyone in our society smoked tobacco, blind to the dangers. We've realized the dangers now of tobacco -- will the dangers of caffeine be the next great realization?
I highly recommend this book. I especially recommend it to people who have lives with high-stress and are mindlessly guzzling caffeine. Buy this title -- it will make you think, and will probably put you on the path to a much more serene existence.
Reviewer: Daniel Dean (Agawam, MA, United States) - See all my reviews
This was a very intriguing book. For a long time now, I've had a feeling that caffeine was not so good for you. I've been reading Men's Health magazine, regularly, and every issue seems to have two or three blurbs about why coffee is either bad or good for you. It seems like every study comes up with new evidence for one case or the another. Contradiction after contradiction.
So, I was dying for a good book to give me some facts. I saw this one in the library, and scooped it up. I tried to be open-minded and skeptical at the same time, as I usually do when I read one-sided books like this, but I really became alarmed as I turned more pages. What Cherniske has to say really rings true, so I followed his advice and gave up the bean, and as he promised, I felt MUCH better once my withdrawal pains eased off. The biggest improvements were in my energy level, and the quality of sleep. I felt fully alert and ready to go as soon as I woke up every morning- without a single cup!
The most compelling statement he makes is that it will take about eight weeks of no caffeine to truly feel the benefits of its absence. Then he asks, "What do you have to lose?" If after two months of no coffee you don't feel a lot better, go back to drinking it for all we care. However, you'll be amazed at how hard it is to quit caffeine for two months. After two or three days, you will get some really hairy headaches unless you wean yourself off it slowly. And just try to walk by a coffee shop or the flavored coffee display in the grocery store without getting the shakes as soon as that old familiar aroma hits you.
Anyway, if you try to quit, you'll have no doubt that this is one powerful drug, and when you get those headaches, you can feel how bad it must be for your body.
-The only problem I have with this book, is that it was published in 1998, and there is no updated version, or newer books on the subject, and even Cherniske's website hasn't been updated in ages. Meanwhile, I still see plenty of new pro-coffee research articles in health magazines and such, and I *still* get the cravings every now and then, and I have to wonder how bad could one cup be now and then, or every two days or so? My will power is beginning to buckle here, and I could use some positive reinforcement despite the benefits I've felt. The pressure is pretty strong!
How about it Steve? We need you to refute these new claims!
Reviewer: A reader
I have read every review by readers, and find that some people have thought out this question: "Am I an Addict?". Those who believe that "Caffeine Blues" is TOTALLY against caffeine didn't read it correctly.
In regards to health, it mentions that coffee and tea ARE powerful antioxicants...but, that it is so powerful that it also "flushes" your body of Essential Nutrients...Calcium Magnesium Potassium and Zinc being MAJOR ones. There are antioxidants like, Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins that are far better, and healthier.
I would also like to mention, that in this day of "increased knowledge" that there is a wealth of information available to anyone who wishes to learn about "natural healing" and health issues...so I wouldn't have cared if Cherniske didn't have "M.S." after his name; this book ROCKS! with information.
I could go on...but would just like to say that anyone who would defend caffeine with as much or MORE zeal, than Cherniske's opposition, might want to ask themselves, "why?". And, finally, the ADHD fellow...READ THE BOOK! and pay closer attention...the subject IS touched on...sugar and caffeine "crashes" can cause attention problems...O.K.? Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins would be a better choice.
If a product such a coffee substitutes change my life...I would probably sell them myself...even join a "down-line" in network marketing:), if that helps anyone.
The book has helped me, and he does challenge people to get off the bean for 2 months. What's the matter? CAN'T?
Reviewer: Deborah A. Woehr (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Caffeine Blues has a wealth of information about the side affects, most of which I was experiencing. At the beginning is a checklist to see how addicted you are. In the next chapter, Cherniske explains the origins of caffeine, which was interesting. The majority of the book explains what caffeine does to the major organs of your body, including your brain and your cognitive thinking skills.
It took Cherniske 301 pages to say that caffeine is legalized speed. Yeah, no kidding. I tried to go turkey and fell flat on my face. Caffeine is a highly addictive drug, one which can produce severe withdrawals. He lists several alternatives to wean yourself off, such as weakening your coffee with milk. For the soda addicts, he suggests alternating every other can with caffeine-free soda, herbal drinks, or water. Plus he suggests Ginseng, Vitamin B-6, and St. John's Wort, among others to keep you alert. Exercise was another suggestion. With that, he warns the reader not to get out of breath because that will lower your blood sugar, thus making you more tired.
I have to say that this book was helpful, although I have to agreee with some of the other reviewers in that he seemed overzealous in his campaign against caffeine and its products. One cup of coffee or one can of soda per day isn't going to hurt you. But if you drink eight cups a day for 10+ years, yes, you will feel the effects.
I give this book three stars because it is well written and informative; however, I feel that the author spent way too much time brow-beating us to the point where I wondered if this wasn't some sort of political, Thought Police kind of ploy to incite a mass panic within the general public. While I would recommend this book, I would also read others in order to make an intelligent, educated choice about caffeine and its long-term effects.
Ok, read some reader's reviews of the book in post #41.
Even your name is repetitious : )
check out this link http://reason.com/9407/col.newcombe.shtml
I assure you it's worse without coffee. That's from my "personal findings". ; )
Just the foundation? I refuse to progress to the next step unless I can bring it along...*grin*
My heart double beats when I drink to much. I'm down to half a cup of "real" coffee mixed with decaf.
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