Is Coffee Good for you?

Friday, 01 Apr 2011 12:30 PM

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Did you know that in 2006, 56% of adults living in America reported drinking coffee every day, which at the time was about 112 million people? That percentage was up from the year before, and the year before that as well; which we can assume means that today, even more people would report drinking coffee on a daily basis. But is drinking coffee every single day good for you?

According to researchers, the answer is yes. Small and large scale studies done across the globe continue to come to the same conclusion: that coffee greatly reduces the risk of three specific diseases.

Type II Diabetes
More than 15 published studies create a strong argument that moderate daily consumption of coffee is linked to a lower risk of developing Type II diabetes. Why? Researchers say that it's all the minerals and antixodants you find in coffee. The antioxidants prevent tissue damage caused by free radicals, and the minerals magnesium and chromium are responsible for helping the body use insulin more efficiently. And because Type II diabetes often leads to strokes and heart disease, coffee has therefore been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing these as well.

Parkinson's Disease
The link between Parkinson's disease and coffee is consistant, and what it says is that higher consumption of coffee is directly linked to a decreased risk of Parkinson's disease. Researchers haven't quite figured out why, but they suspect it's due to the natural caffeine in coffee, and not due to other factors. This is because all the results of studies done on the link between coffee and Parkinson's disease are the same across all sexes, weights, and geographic locations.

Alzheimer’s Disease
The link between Alzheimer's disease and drinking coffee is just as strong. One research study done over a period of 20 years in Finland and Sweden showed that the particpants who drank three to five cups of coffee a day were 65% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Again, they aren't sure exactly why, but research is in the process of trying to figure that out.

But there's always a big "but."

Coffee consumption is clearly linked to a decreased likelihood of developing these three diseases, but it can still be unhealthy for you. Sure, a cup or two of black coffee (decaf or otherwise) will decrease your chances of getting Type II diabetes; but only if you don't add 100 calories or more to it with sugar, flavored creamers, whipped cream, and all the other tasty options available.

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