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Does coffee offer health benefits?

(research from mayo clinic)

Coffee has been around for a long time and blamed for many ills — from stunting your growth to causing heart disease — but newer research shows that it may actually have health benefits.

Recent studies have generally found no connection between coffee and an increased risk of heart disease or cancer.

In fact, some studies have found an association between coffee consumption and decreased overall mortality and possibly cardiovascular mortality, although this may not be true in younger people who drink large amounts of coffee.

Why the apparent reversal in the thinking about coffee? Earlier studies didn't always take into account that known high-risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers.

Studies have shown that coffee may have health benefits, including protecting against Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer. Coffee also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.

However, the research appears to bear out some risks. High consumption of unfiltered coffee (boiled or espresso) has been associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels.

In addition, some studies found that two or more cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific — and fairly common — genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body. So, how quickly you metabolize coffee may affect your health risk.

Although coffee may have fewer risks compared with benefits, keep in mind that other beverages, such as milk and some fruit juices, contain nutrients that coffee doesn't. Also, adding cream and sugar to your coffee adds fat and calories — up to hundreds of calories in some cases.

12 HEALTH BENEFITS OF COFFEE

  1. Coffee boosts your physical performance. Have a cup of black coffee about an hour before workout and your performance can improve by 11-12%. Caffeine increases adrenaline levels in your blood. Adrenaline is your body’s “fight or flight” hormone which helps you to prepare for physical exertion.
  2. Coffee may help you lose weight. Coffee contains magnesium and potassium, which helps the human body use insulin, regulating blood sugar levels and reducing your craving for sugary treats and snacks.
  3. Coffee helps you burn fat. Caffeine helps fat cells break down body fat and use it as fuel for training.
  4. Coffee helps you focus and stay alert. Moderate caffeine intake, 1-6 cups a day, helps you focus and improves your mental alertness.
  5. Coffee lowers risk of death. Studies have shown that coffee drinker’s overall risk of premature death is 25% lower than of those who don’t drink coffee.
  6. Coffee reduces risk of cancers. One study has shown that coffee may decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer in men by 20 %, and endometrial cancer in women by 25 %. People in the test group drank four cups of coffee a day. Caffeine may also prevent developing of basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer
  7. Coffee reduces risk of stroke. Reasonable consumption of coffee (2–4 cups a day) is associated with lower risk of stroke.
  8. Coffee reduces risk of Parkinson’s disease. Studies have shown that regular coffee drinking decreases risk of Parkinson’s disease by 25 %. There’s evidence that coffee causes activity in the part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s.
  9. Coffee protects your body. Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants, that work as little warriors fighting and protecting against free radicals within your body.
  10. Coffee may lower risk of Type II diabetes. Caffeine decreases your insulin sensitivity and impairs glucose tolerance, therefore reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  11. Coffee protects your brain. High caffeine levels in your blood reduce the risk of Alzheimer disease. It also lowers risk of dementia.
  12. Coffee brightens your mood, helps fight depression and lowers risk of suicide. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and boosts production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, which elevate your mood. Two cups of coffee a day prevents risk of suicide by 50 %.

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