The Wall Street Journal has a good article (Seeking Coffee’s Benefits to Health) from last week which reviews the latest medical literature on this. Coffee was in the news last year due to a couple large studies which showed a decrease in developing diabetes with increasing amounts of coffee drinking. Another study showed a long-term decrease in developing prostate cancer. These are interesting findings, but the amount of coffee needed per day was very high, from 2 to 6 cups a day. However, it seems that decaf had the same benefits! Which means that there must be some unknown molecules in the coffee bean, apart from the caffeine, which create the benefits.
But it’s not all good news; too much coffee can raise blood sugars in people already diabetic, and it can raise blood pressure and cause insomnia, among other common effects. I certainly wouldn’t recommend that people who don’t already drink coffee start drinking it based on these newer studies. I love to start my day with home-brewed coffee; maybe now I will be more inclined to have another cup later in the day – decaf, this time.
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