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What's Up Magazine

10 Good Things You Should Know about Coffee

Apr 29, 2014 09:30AM ● By Cate Reynolds
Last month we told you about the high cholesterol risks from unfiltered coffee—French press, Turkish, espresso or cappuccino, for instance. Coffee-centric co-workers then stormed my tea-drinker’s cubical and demanded we print the other side of the coin. Turns out they were right. Coffee can be good for you and here are 10 reasons to think so:

1. Scientific thinking on whether coffee has any health benefits has changed recently: Some older, more negative studies didn’t take into account the fact that some coffee drinkers were also smokers and/or less active physically.

2. The Mayo Clinic has reported on studies that have shown that coffee may protect against Parkinson’s disease, type-2 diabetes, and liver disease, including liver cancer.

3. Mayo medics also stated that, “It (coffee) appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.”

4. Drinking coffee may help you live longer. The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute cites a large 2012 study that concluded the more coffee you drink (three or more cups a day), the lower the risk of death—regardless of whether participants drank caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.

5. The Institute also reported on a 2011 study that found men who consumed six or more cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 20 percent.

6. A 2011 study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomakers and Prevention, found that women who drank more than four cups of coffee a day had a 25 percent lower risk of endometrial cancer.

7. But that many cups a day may not be necessary. A Japanese study of more than 76,000 participants found that men consuming one to two cups per day reduced their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by as much as 38 percent.

8. If your work is a pain, coffee may be the beverage for you. Men’s Fitness reported that Norwegian researchers studied 48 people performing computer-related office work for 90 minutes. Twenty-two of the participants started out with chronic neck and shoulder pain…26 were pain free to begin. What the researchers discovered was that they all complained of discomfort at the conclusion. The 19 participants who were allowed to have some coffee 90 minutes prior to the work session reported a pain intensity level of 31. The 29 coffee-free workers reported an intensity level of 55. (Another conclusion might be that they have an odd way of amusing themselves in Norway.)

9. Coffee’s caffeine really can make you feel more alert and energetic. It blocks the inhibitory transmitter in the brain which causes a stimulant effect. That’s real science, not merely a placebo effect.

10. That same caffeine may also help burn fat and boost your metabolism. That must be why it’s in virtually every over-the-counter diet pill.

And lastly (let’s call this reason 10 and a half), coffee helps provide a wonderful economic boon to over-the-counter teeth whitening manufacturers. It’s a $4.1 billion a year industry. —S.H.