April 14, 2014

263 Coffee – our favorite herbal beverage [14 April 2014]

More good news for coffee lovers.

The Singapore Chinese Health Study, published this month in the journal Hepatology found that those who drank 2 or more cups of coffee had 66% lower risk of dying from non-viral cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol, not surprisingly, had a “strong dose-dependent positive association between amount of alcohol and risk of cirrhosis mortality” which simply means the more you drink the more likely you are to die from cirrhosis. Drinking black or green tea, fruit juices, or soft drinks neither increased nor decreased the cirrhosis mortality rate.

This adds to a growing list of benefits of coffee consumption. A 2013 study from Japan found that 5 oz of coffee increased blood circulation by opening blood vessels and reducing inflammation, reducing risk of heart attack and stroke.
Other research has found that drinking coffee:
• protects against Parkinson’s Disease
• reduces risk or delays onset of Alzheimer’s Disease
• lowers risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
• lowers risk of liver and prostate cancers
• offers a slight protection against heart failure
• improves cognitive function (lets you think better).

For some of these benefits like the protection from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, it’s the caffeine that does the trick. For others it’s the high levels of antioxidants found in coffee – decaf seems to work as well as regular.

Like most things, moderation is key. Most of the benefits reported occurred with 1 or 2 cups of coffee a day (although it took 4 cups to protect against prostate cancer in one study). Drinking 5 or more cups, however, could do more harm than good, causing problems such as anxiety, high blood pressure and heart palpitations.

We shouldn’t be too surprised by this good news—after all coffee is our nation’s favorite herbal beverage.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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