If you can’t imagine starting your day without your java fix, you’re in luck—research overwhelmingly shows that drinking coffee provides a host of health benefits, and just a few caveats. Here’s a rundown of the many good things (and a few bad things) a cup or more of joe can bring your way.
Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Recent research indicates that most adults who drink coffee have nothing to fear, and potentially much to gain.
For example, coffee may:
- Reduce the risk for prostate cancer. One study of 48,000 men found those who drank six cups of coffee a day had a 18 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those men who did not drink coffee.
- Reduce the risk for other cancers. Separate studies indicate drinking four or more cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk for colorectal cancer by 11 to 24 percent, and endometrial cancer by 30 percent. Drinking three or more cups of coffee a day has been shown to reduce the risk of liver cancer by 50 percent, and skin cancer by 17percent.
- Reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes. Several studies have linked coffee consumption with a reduced risk for the condition.
- Boost your consumption of antioxidants. Coffee is a major source of health-promoting antioxidants in the American diet. The beverage also contains magnesium that can help you metabolize insulin.
Risks of Too Much Coffee
The ill effects of coffee include:
- Too much coffee is a no-no for pregnant women. Too much caffeine can cause changes in babies’ sleep patterns while in the womb and may increase the risk for miscarriage. The March of Dimes recommends pregnant women limit their intake to one 12-ounce cup a day.
- Elderly people and those with hypertension may have a negative response to caffeine. Coffee can’t cause high blood pressure, but it can make it spike.
- Fancy coffees can add calories and fat. Adding whipped cream, added flavors, and sugar boosts calories and fat. Substituting skim milk for regular milk can solve the problem.
- Too much coffee can interfere with sleep. To avoid this effect, cut back on your intake and avoid drinking coffee after lunch.
To learn more about how coffee may be affecting your health, talk to your Rite Aid Pharmacist.
“Benefits of Java.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442470255.
“Caffeine Intake During Pregnancy.” American Pregnancy Association. www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/caffeine.html.
“Coffee May Ward Off Lethal Prostate Cancer.” National Institutes of Health. www.nih.gov/researchmatters/may2011/05232011coffee.htm.
“Good News for Coffee Drinkers: the Health Benefits Outweigh the Risks for Most People.” National Research Center for Women & Families. www.center4research.org/healthy-living-prevention/improving-your-health/coffee-risks-and-benefits/.
“Habitual Coffee Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis.” E. Mostofsky et al. Circulation: Heart Failure. Vol. 5, pp. 401–05, circheartfailure.ahajournals.org/content/early/2012/06/26/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.112.967299.abstract.