Last Word on Coffee: It’s Good for You!

We have written extensively about the health benefits of coffee. While there are still a few naysayers, here is the last word on coffee: it’s good for you! The Annual Review of Nutrition published a comprehensive review entitled Coffee, Caffeine, and Health Outcomes: an Umbrella Review. Here is the short version.

To evaluate the associations between coffee and caffeine consumption and various health outcomes, we performed an umbrella review of the evidence from meta-analyses of observational studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Of the 59 unique outcomes examined in the selected 112 meta-analyses of observational studies, coffee was associated with a probable decreased risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers; cardiovascular disease and mortality; Parkinson’s disease; and type-2 diabetes. Of the 14 unique outcomes examined in the 20 selected meta-analyses of observational studies, caffeine was associated with a probable decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease and type-2 diabetes and an increased risk of pregnancy loss. Of the 12 unique acute outcomes examined in the selected 9 meta-analyses of RCTs, coffee was associated with a rise in serum lipids, but this result was affected by significant heterogeneity, and caffeine was associated with a rise in blood pressure. Given the spectrum of conditions studied and the robustness of many of the results, these findings indicate that coffee can be part of a healthful diet.

These people did not study any patients. Rather they looked at all of the studies done regarding coffee and its effects on health. There was a lot of statistical analysis involved and in the end the results confirmed much of what has been written about coffee and health.

Coffee and Diabetes

This last word on coffee confirms what we wrote years ago about how more organic coffee can lead to less diabetes.

The bottom line of the UCLA study was that drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day, with caffeine, reduces Type II diabetes incidence by 56%, more than half.

The benefit of drinking coffee goes up with the number of cups consumed a day up to six. This is also confirmed in the last word on coffee study.

Coffee and Cancer

Several years ago we wrote that you might avoid cancer by drinking coffee.

Prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, and colon cancer may all occur less often in long term coffee drinkers. To avoid cancer by drinking coffee it appears as though one needs to drink as much as four cups a day although some research studies show benefits in individuals with lower levels of coffee consumption. In general the benefits of coffee in the case of reducing the incidence of cancer have to do with chemicals called antioxidants found in roasted coffee.

The last word study confirms a decreased risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers in coffee drinkers.

Degenerative Diseases

Research has linked to coffee to a decreased incidence of degenerative diseases and the last word study confirms the link to Parkinson’s disease.

According to a study of persons on Olmstead County, Minnesota, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of coffee that people drink and their chances of getting Parkinson’s disease. Nearly two hundred persons were followed for twenty years (1976-1995). Researchers noted the amount of coffee that people drank and whether or not they developed Parkinson’s disease. When other things that might affect the incidence of Parkinson’s disease, like smoking, were excluded, there was a clear association between higher coffee consumption and a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.

The last word on coffee is that it is good for you and up to six cups a day, more coffee is better.


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