Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another Reason to Love Coffee

New research using information gleaned from the Nurses Health Study (an amazing wealth of information!) has shown that people who drink coffee on a daily basis have slightly lower death rates. The affect seems to lie mainly with heart health, as coffee-drinkers are particularly less likely to die from heart disease. The benefit is more pronounced in women than in men and doesn't seem to be tied to caffeine consumption, because both regular and decaf drinkers achieved the same benefits. In the study, women who consumed several cups of coffee per day had a full 25% lower risk of death from heart disease and an 18% lower risk of death from something other than cancer or heart disease. Also, you don't have to limit your coffee drinking to get the positive effects (as you do with wine)--Drink up to six cups per day to get the benefit.


Herbal Amanda said...

I did a repot on the benefits of coffee consumption a few years ago and I found a study that linked lower risk of colon cancer (sorry I don't have the citation on hand!) in people that drank at least a cup of coffee a day.

In that same study I found that the main concern with coffee (and why we are so sure it is bad for you) is the fact that it makes your blood pressure spike alarmingly when you first drink it. The solution to that of course is simply constantly drink coffee so you never get spikes... but that leads to messing with your sleep patterns.

Of course if the new study is right maybe those spikes in blood pressure aren't as detrimental as we once thought.

I will try to find the paper so I can give you the citations.

Fresh coffee has over 300 flavonoids in it, that's why fresh coffee tastes better (older coffee, preground coffee beans or a pot that has been sitting more than 20 minutes only has a handful left.) The fresher the coffee the more benefits you get!

Also Caffeine binds easily to tannins and coffee is full of tannins, but if you add milk the tannins will bind to the protein, making the caffeine more accessible (the same is true with tea) The sooner you add the milk the more free floating caffeine in the drink.

That is all.

Herbal Amanda said...

Oh yeah also, in the colon cancer study the more coffee the better. Six cups a day had the lowest risk, especially people that had been drinking coffee for most of their adult lives.

Jillian said...

Coffee has also recently been linked with a significantly lower risk of getting type 2 Diabetes.


Also, regarding the blood pressure spike, check out this Swiss study from 2002 which found that something other than caffeine causes the spike. Subjects were each given a triple espresso, some with caffeine and some without. But the blood pressure spikes occured evenly across the board*, so it isn't the caffeine that casues blood pressure to rise.


*Except in people who were regular coffee-drinkers. They showed no increased blood pressure.

Herbal Amanda said...

right on! The swiss are geniuses they also invented the water extraction method for decaffeination. They must love coffee :)

Mom said...

I heard recently that people who abuse alcohol but also consume a lot of coffee (defined as 3-6 cups a day) reduce the risk of developing liver cirrhosis. According WebMD, coffee consump-tion lowers the risk by 80%. Data collected on 126,000 people seemed to show that diabetes risk declined 54% for men and 30% for women who regularly drink coffee. Parkinsons disease is 80% less likely to develop in coffee drinkers. Gallstones, gallbladder disease? Protect yourself. Drink up! Not only all of this, but I find serious coffee devotees to be generally more charming, agreeable, cerebral, pleasant and interesting. These are my comments on one of my favorite subjects.
P.S. to TLaJ: More games!

Jillian said...

Thanks for the info, Mom! Yes, it seems we've finally stumbled upon that panacea we've been looking for since the dawn of mankind. Can you believe it's been right under our noses all this time?! (And smelling wonderful!)

I'm having a cup right now!