May 11, 2009
Research suggests coffee may be beneficial
Drinking coffee may be good for your health, U.S. researchers say.
Researchers say a cup of java might protect against diabetes, liver cancer, cirrhosis and Parkinson's disease, The Boston Globe reported Monday.
Coffee was seen as very unhealthy, said Rob van Dam, a coffee researcher and epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Now we have a more balanced view. We're not telling people to drink it for health. But it is a good beverage choice.
Terry Graham, chair of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph in Canada noted that coffee and caffeine are not the same thing.
Coffee is a complex beverage with hundreds, if not thousands, of bioactive ingredients, he said.
A cup of coffee is 2 percent caffeine, 98 percent other stuff.
The newspaper said 20 studies worldwide show that coffee, both regular and decaf, lowers the risk for Type 2 diabetes by as much as 50 percent. Researchers say that is probably because chlorogenic acid, one of the many ingredients in coffee, slows uptake of sugar from the intestines.
As for heart disease and stroke, a study published in March in the journal Circulation looked at data on more than 83,000 women over age 24. The research showed that those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had a 19 percent lower risk of stroke than those who drank almost no coffee.
A Finish study said the same about men drinking coffee.