Saturday, May 28, 2011

Is Coffee Good For You?

This month there was BIG news in the coffee world. A recent study by Harvard School of Public Health indicates, among men drinking at least 6 cups per day, the adjusted risk for overall prostate cancer was 18% lower vs that in nondrinkers.

However before we start jumping up and down there are a few things to notice.

  1. The number of cups that people were drinking. Folks were drinking 6 cups of coffee a day. This is TWICE the average consumption of coffee that most Americans have.
  2. This study shows health benefits are only for MEN. There another study that states that coffee can have an increase in the risk of breast cancer among WOMEN who drink more the 4 cups a day (although other studies have indicated that coffee consumption has no effect)
  3. This study is not definitive. "It is premature to recommend that men increase coffee intake to reduce advanced prostate cancer risk based on this single study," Dr. Wilson and colleagues conclude. "In addition, the effects of coffee consumption on other aspects of health must be considered in making consumption recommendations," they add. "However, our findings are potentially important, given the lack of identified modifiable risk factors for advanced prostate cancer."
So is there any reason to drink coffee from a purely "better health" point of view?


  • Recent studies seem to indicate coffee drinkers are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and dementia. 
  • There are also antioxidants in coffee which can make you healthier! In fact according to a study by Dr. Joe Vinsonm,"Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close."
  • The tannins in coffee may reduce the cariogenic potential of other foods. Pretty niffty huh?

Are there anythings that can harm your health as a result of coffee?


  • Coffee can damage the lining of the gastrointestinal organs, causing gastritis and ulcers.
  • Coffee contains cholesterol (this can be reduced if you use paper rather then metal filters)
  • Coffee also interferes with the absorption of supplemental iron so it should not be drunken often if you are anemic.
All in all coffee is a pretty healthy drink, but it does have risks too. Before you go out and start drinking 6 cups a day to prevent cancer you should make sure you've considered what that could do to your body!

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