Thursday, July 08, 2004
Health benefits of Coffee ?
Any occasional reader of this blog should be familiar with how seriously I take my coffee (Your Coffee Sucks!). So you can imagine my delight while visiting in Chitown when I picked up the Chicago Tribune and saw an article discussing the growing evidence on the health benefits of a cup of joe. The latest research reveals a linkage between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes -- "a growing health epidemic that is closely linked to the rising rates of obesity." And then there's this factoid: Finland has the world's highest per capita coffee consumption(?!?) That's where researchers discovered that coffee appeared to have a protective effect against the development of type 2 diabetes. The more cups of coffee consumed, the greater the protection.
Here's an excerpt:
"Some people just can't get started in the morning without a freshly brewed cup of joe. For others, this beloved beverage has become more than a morning routine. A stop at the local coffeehouse for a cappuccino or iced mocha has become an afternoon tradition.Fascinating stuff -- and quite delicious!
Though the virtues of coffee drinking may have been debated in the past, now there appear to be new reasons to rejoice over java. More and more studies have linked coffee consumption to a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes, Parkinson's disease, gallstones, colon cancer and potentially heart disease.
"Coffee has much more in it than caffeine," said Dr. PeMartin, director of the Vanderbilt University's Institute for Coffee Studies, which conducts medical research on coffee and is funded by a grant from a consortium of coffee-producing countries. "It's a very complex beverage that contains hundreds of compounds, including many with antioxidant effects."
Though the tea industry has been touting its antioxidants, turns out coffee may contain even more--specifically polyphenols. One of the most potent antioxidants in coffee is called chlorogenic acid, which is partially responsible for the coffee flavor. Some reports estimate that more than 850 compounds are packed inside the humble bean.
Martin said that the roasting process appears to change the structure of the compounds in coffee--boosting the potential disease-fighting benefits. Martin, who is also a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Vanderbilt, is looking at the potential use of coffee compounds to treat addiction and depression. Past studies indicate that coffee may help lift moods, reduce anxiety and depression, and even reduce the risk of suicide.
No clouds in your coffee
Drink up, evidence is growing on the health benefits of a cup of joe
Janet Helm, Special to the Tribune
Published July 7, 2004
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