The Pros and Cons of Coffee
It’s a common ritual for many Americans: wake up and smell the coffee. And with an estimated 400 billion cups consumed annually, coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. During the Enlightenment, coffee was considered as an intelligent antidote to raucous pubs. Today, jokes about caffeine as an addictive stimulant plaster t-shirts, mugs and more. But what does science have to say about it?
- Coffee may help protect against type 2 diabetes. In one study, researchers from UCLA found that drinking coffee controlled hormone levels that contribute to type 2 diabetes. In another, scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health found that drinking more than a cup of coffee a day lowered the risk of diabetes by 11 percent.
- Coffee may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. A study from the Honolulu Heart Program made a direct correlation between higher coffee and caffeine intake and a significantly lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease. In addition, a study from McGill University found that coffee may help control tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease.
- Coffee can help improve your liver. In Italy, researchers found that drinking coffee lowers the risk of liver cancer by about 40%. Their results even suggested that if you drink three cups a day, the risk is reduced by more than half. Coffee has also shown to protect against cirrhosis of the liver, and even decaf coffee can help lower liver enzyme levels.
- Coffee can be good for your heart. A study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that drinking 16 ounces of coffee can help protect against heart failure.
- Too much coffee can make you anxious. According to the University of Oklahoma, caffeine can trigger symptoms of anxiety—especially if you have pre-existing anxiety disorders.
- Coffee can increase blood pressure. Over time, it’s possible to develop a tolerance to the caffeine in coffee, which means you’ll need to drink more to feel the same effect. Since caffeine causes the release of adrenaline, more coffee can result in an elevated heart rate and blood pressure.