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Some Surprising Facts About Coffee

Studies seem to be coming out all the time pointing to the health benefits of 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 discussed:

  • 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) was associated with, among other things, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart failure, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and all-cause mortality.
  • Other meta-analyses found that coffee was either not associated with higher cancer risk, or was associated with a lower risk of some cancers. It is true that some studies have found coffee is associated with an increased risk of lung and breast cancer. However, Dr. Carroll pointed out that the lung cancer study involved smokers, which could skew the results, and the findings from the breast cancer study 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, and therefore can’t establish a cause-and-effect relationship. In addition, some people are sensitive to caffeine, so drinking 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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