The stimulant called caffeine contained in coffee has frequently called into doubt the safety of coffee drinking, a new study informs us that there are at least some benefits of drinking coffee. This was the largest ever study examining the relationship between health and coffee drinking habits.
What the studies say about coffee
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that coffee may reduce risk of death. While caffeine is known to increase the heart rate and even blood pressure for a time, it also has certain antioxidants and other healthful compounds that could have this impact.
The study looked at questionnaires filled out by over five hundred thousand men and women and found that those who drank coffee were more likely to have certain other habits associated with poor health.
The coffee drinkers were more likely to be smokers, drink more alcohol, eat more of red meat and fewer veggies and fruit, and were also less likely to exercise.
However when these bad habits were adjusted for, researcher found that coffee drinkers were less likely to die from cause specific reasons.
The causes included heart disease, diabetes, stroke, infections, respiratory problems and even accidents and injuries.
So is coffee good or bad for you?
Other studies have also found that there is no connection between coffee drinking and increased heart disease or cancer risk. Yet another study had shown that drinking coffee reduced risk of brain cancer.
Other studies have shown that coffee could lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer and type 2 diabetes, due to its higher antioxidant content.
And there is also the fact that each person’s genetic makeup is different: those who metabolize coffee slowly may have different health risks that those who metabolize it quicker. However studies have also found that heavy coffee drinker of unfiltered coffee could have a slightly higher cholesterol level.
Studies have also shown that there are many other beverages that contain far more health giving nutrients than coffee. Drinking a lot of coffee is (four or more cups a day) associated with difficulty in sleeping, jitters, anxiety, restlessness and so on.
So clearly there are pros and cons of coffee drinking, both of which are to be considered. In the end the decision should be made based on moderation. Those who enjoy their coffee need not give it up, but heavy drinkers may want to reduce consumption.