Many studies published just this year tout coffee as a healthy beverage. A new study co-authored by Dr. Eliseo Guallar of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health has suggested drinking three to five cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of clogged arteries and heart attacks. For the study, published in the journal Heart, researchers analyzed almost 26,000 people and measured their calcium levels in the coronary arteries, seeking any correlation between coffee consumption habits.
A recent analysis of 36 studies showed moderate coffee consumption was linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and other research has made associations with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers led by the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, Korea, analyzed participants attending a regular health screening, including food frequency questionnaires and CT scanning to determine coronary artery calcium. The participants had an average age of 41 and no signs of heart disease.
Coffee consumption was categorized into the following groups:
- No coffee consumed
- Less than one cup a day
- 1-3 cups a day
- 3-5 cups a day
- Five or more cups a day.
What they found was the prevalence of detectable coronary artery calcium was 13.4 percent. The average coffee consumption was 1.8 cups a day. Researchers observed the following calcium ratios for each group:
- Less than one cup a day: 0.77
- 1-3 cups a day: 0.66
- 3-5 cups a day: 0.59
- Five or more cups a day: 0.81.
Researchers concluded that these findings add to the growing body of evidence that shows coffee consumption might help decrease the risk of heart disease, in particular the claims of coffee’s positive affect on the risk of type 2 diabetes.
COFFEE AND CANCER
Again some of the ingredients like chlorogenic acid and antioxidants are anti-inflammatory agents, which reduce inflammation. This is the leading factor in the progression of most cancers.
Notable studies include:
January 2015: National Cancer Institute published a study showing that people who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of melanoma than non-coffee drinkers.
February 2015: An AACR journal found that women who drink four cups a day have a reduced risk of endometrial cancer.
March 2015: U.K. researchers released an analysis of 34 studies conducted around the world and concluded that coffee consumption—even just one cup a day—reduces the risk of liver cancer.
Scientists still cannot determine what ingredient in coffee stunts tumor growth or reacts with cancer cells. But all these studies are leading us to the root connection.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF COFFEE
There have been a number of reviews around studies that have cited the benefits of various aspects of drinking coffee. Most studies recognize a “cup of coffee” being an 8 ounce serving and when we talk about coffee, we mean black coffee, not with milk, sugar, syrup and other additives. Across most studies, three to four cups per day for most everyone is where the peak benefit can be traced to. Pregnant women and those who suffer from acid reflux and other issues should stay away.
Black coffee has reported the following benefits:
- Reduce risk of most all types of cardiovascular diseases
- Reduce risk of stroke
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Reduced overall cancer risk
- Reduce the risk of all liver diseases (liver cancer, cirrhosis etc.)
- Lower risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Reduce risk of cognitive decline
- Potential protective effect against Alzheimer’s
Myths—like coffee stunts your growth, among others—have been touted for years, leading many to believe coffee was not a positive drink of choice. Given these new findings, there is no longer a need to view coffee as something we need to cut back on.