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Some Surprising Facts about Coffee

Studies seem to be coming out all the time pointing to the health benefits of drinking coffee. But is coffee really good for you, or is this research just being hyped in the media? According to an article in the New York Times by Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University, evidence suggests that moderate amounts of coffee aren’t bad for you. In fact, there is plenty of research suggesting that it may even improve your health. Here is some of the evidence Dr. Carroll discusses:

  • Several meta-analyses—a type of research that collects and reviews data from multiple studies—found that moderate coffee intake (about 3–5 cups per day) is associated with, among other things, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart failure, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and all-cause mortality (the risk of dying from any cause).
  • Findings from other meta-analyses might also lessen concerns about the association between coffee consumption and cancer risk, finding that coffee is either not associated with higher cancer risk, or is associated with a lower risk of some cancers. It is true that some studies have found that coffee is associated with an increased risk of lung and breast cancer. However, as Dr. Carroll points out, the lung cancer study involved smokers, which could skew the results, and the findings on breast cancer were not statistically significant.

Now, if you don’t already drink coffee, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should start. The research cited by Dr. Carroll is observational in nature, and therefore can’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship. In addition, some people are sensitive to caffeine, so drinking lots of coffee could make them jittery or have other unwanted effects. Finally, it’s important to note that the positive research on coffee only applies to black coffee, not to drinks loaded with sugar, cream, or artificial flavors. Sorry, sugary latte lovers.

Source: New York Times

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