Should We All Drink Coffee?

There are a lot of health benefits in a cup of coffee. Because coffee is a healthy beverage why don’t more of us drink it? An interesting article in this regard in The New York Times posed a question. “I Don’t Drink Coffee. Should I Start?”

Counting yourself out from the 64 percent of Americans who drink at least one cup a day can invite bewildered responses from dedicated coffee drinkers. To them, the benefits are clear, the drawbacks minimal.

Being in the minority, it’s easy to wonder: Have I been making a mistake? Should I and other coffee abstainers start now?

“There aren’t any guidelines to help guide you on this,” said Dr. Donald Hensrud, director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. “This is kind of an individual decision.”

The point the doctors make in this article is that we know that coffee is not bad for you and has lots of positive health effects including living longer. But, should we all drink coffee? In other words should we treat coffee as a medicine like those that people take to treat high blood pressure or too much cholesterol? As one of the physicians noted this raises the bar for positive and negative effects of coffee. For example, there are people who are prone to acid reflux and ulcers and for those folks too much coffee causes problems. And there are people who metabolize coffee very slowly and therefore get very nervous from just a small amount. Those folks would need to consider how much discomfort they would be willing to undergo in order to experience the benefits of drinking coffee. And, what are those benefits again?

Health Benefit of Drinking Coffee

From our article, Health Effects of Drinking Coffee:

List of cancers that appear to have a lower incidence in coffee drinkers:

Colon Cancer

Endometrial Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Skin Cancer

Diabetes Incidences Is Reduced in Coffee Drinkers

Drinking four cups of coffee a day appears to reduce the chances of getting Type II Diabetes by about a half. Research has shown that drinking coffee increases levels of sex hormone-binding globulin which in turn appears to reduce the incidence of diabetes.

Depression and the Incidence of Suicide Are Both Helped by Drinking Coffee

Everyone knows that a morning cup of coffee is a good way to wake up and that a good mid-day pick-me-up is coffee. Now research shows that one of the health effects of drinking coffee is that it reduces the risk of depression by about a fifth. Another of the health effects of drinking coffee is a reduced reduced risk of suicide in steady coffee drinkers. Drinking from two to four cups of coffee a day is associated with a fifty percent lower risk of suicide when compared to those who were not coffee drinkers.

Degenerative Brain Diseases Avoided by Drinking Coffee

For those who are concerned about the debilitating neurologic disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, help is not only on the way but help has always been there in the form a few cups of coffee each day. Researchers have discovered a reduced incidence of Parkinson’s disease and hope for those prone to Alzheimer’s in drinking coffee. Research has shown than drinking a cup of coffee a day is related to a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s than with non-coffee drinkers. More recent work shows that the reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer’s goes up with the number of cups of coffee that a person drinks each day.


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