Coffee's reputation as a food to avoid has been replaced with hundreds of studies that show coffee may be one of the healthiest drinks in the world.
A Harvard study released this month found that coffee drinkers who drink three to five cups a day are less likely to die from any cause than nondrinkers.
The study, published in Circulation, found that coffee drinkers of both regular and decaf had lower rates of dying from heart disease, stroke, neurological diseases, and suicide. Overall, the risk of dying was reduced by 15 percent.
Check out the following health problems coffee can help protect against :
Heart risk: A study released in June found that drinking three to five cups of coffee every day lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by up to 21 percent, according to a report presented at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology.
Diabetes: The recent study presented to the European Society of Cardiology also found that coffee reduces the risk of diabetes. Those who drank three to four cups a day lowered their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 25 percent when compared to those who drank fewer than two cups daily. Other studies have shown even better results — up to 67 percent.
Melanoma: A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that people who drank four or more cups of coffee daily lowered their cancer risk by 20 percent when compared to those who didn't drink coffee.
Some protection was found in those who drank as little as one cup of caffeinated coffee a day, but decaffeinated coffee offered no protection, regardless of the amount consumed.
Memory: A double-blind study from Johns Hopkins University studied non-coffee drinkers and found that drinking coffee after a learning session improved long-term memory.
Researchers gave participants a 200 milligram tablet of caffeine or a placebo five minutes after studying a series of images. One day later, they were shown another series of images, some the same as the day before, some completely different, and some similar. Those who took the caffeine pill were better at identifying the "similar" pictures rather than citing them as the same as previous images.
Age-Related Cognitive Decline and Alzheimer's: Several studies have found that older people who regularly drink coffee can slow or even reverse cognitive decline, and can significantly reduce their risk of Alzheimer's and dementia.
Two studies published in Psychopharmacology found that coffee improved the attention span and cognitive function in older adults. Another study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, found that seniors who had drunk three to five cups of coffee a day for 21 years lowered their risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia by 65 percent.
Parkinson's Disease: Studies have found caffeine significantly reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease. A study of Japanese Americans living in Hawaii found those who drank more than four cups of coffee daily reduced their risk fivefold. A later study found that coffee was just as protective for women.
Weight Loss: A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking two to four cups of coffee daily helped dieters from regaining lost weight. Researchers believe coffee's high caffeine content helps the body fight the gradual weight gain that defeats so many dieters who have initially lost weight.
Suicide: A Harvard review of three large studies found that men and women who drank two to four cups of coffee daily had half the risk of suicide as those who drank very little or no coffee, or those who chose decaffeinated.
Researchers believe caffeine functions as an antidepressant by increasing the production of specific neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline.
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