Your “Morning Joe” addiction may not be good for your bank account, but researchers are continuing to uncover its health implications. While research is ongoing and the jury’s still out, there are a few pro-coffee studies worth noting.
- Type 2 Diabetes – A study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that participants who increased their intake by more than one cup of coffee per day over a four-year period had an 11 percent lower risk for Type 2 diabetes over the subsequent four years, compared with those who didn’t change their intake. (A cup of coffee in this study refers to 8 ounces of black coffee, or coffee with a very small amount of milk or sugar added.)
- Parkinson’s Disease – As one of the most common psychomotor stimulants available, caffeine acts on the central nervous system and cardiovascular system by temporarily decreasing tiredness and increasing alertness. Canadian researchers discovered that people with Parkinson’s disease who received a 100 mg. dose of caffeine twice daily for three weeks, then 200 mg. twice daily for three more weeks, showed an improvement in motor symptoms as compared to those who were given a placebo. While more studies are needed, the study did show promise.
- Stroke Risk – Japanese researchers followed the coffee and green tea consumption of 83,269 adults ages 45 to 74, and found a link between high consumption of both beverages and a lower risk for stroke. More specifically, those who drank coffee on a regular basis were at a 20 percent lower risk of stroke compared to nondrinkers. While the stroke risk was even lower for tea drinkers, that population seemed to exercise more often.
A WORD OF WARNING: While all of this research may lengthen the lines at coffee shops, researchers also know that coffee can produce adverse results for some, like increasing the likelihood of anxiety, depression and rapid heart rate. Additionally, while black coffee only has a few calories, adding ingredients like milk, cream and sugar can negate many of the health benefits.
While coffee remains one of the world’s most popular drinks, with billions of cups consumed annually, the case for coffee remains a work in progress.