Java, Java: The 5 Unexpected Health Benefits of Coffee

For years, we’ve heard physicians warn about the negative health effects of drinking coffee—making every morning cup of joe feel a little like an act of defiance.

You may have heard that coffee will raise your blood pressure, lead to heart disease, give you an ulcer, or make you diabetic. But as more research about coffee surfaces, the more it seems coffee might not be bad for you at all.

In fact, drinking coffee may indeed have some health benefits. So pour yourself a little java and enjoy—this latest research gives you the go-ahead:

Increase Your Life Span. Drink up—researchers from the National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found people who drank three or more cups of coffee a day had a 10 percent chance of living longer than their coffee-abstaining peers. From 1995 to 2008, researchers monitored 400,000 people from ages 50 to 71 years old. At the beginning of the trial, all participants were relatively healthy, with none reporting a history of heart disease, stroke, or cancer. Of that number, 50,000 passed away during the course of the trial—and those who drank coffee had a 10 percent longer life span. Researchers deduced coffee must have protected against various forms of death with the exception of cancer.

Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Rejoice! The University of South Florida found that of the coffee drinkers followed over the course of four years, not one developed Alzheimer’s disease. The participants in the study were all over 65 years old and were already suffering from slight memory impairment. For those studied who did develop dementia, their blood caffeine levels were 51 percent lower than those whose cognitive impairment remained level.

Decrease the Likelihood of Skin Cancer. Harvard professor Jiali Han conducted a study with her colleagues that found that coffee decreases the risk of developing the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma. In fact, the more cups of coffee that you drink, the greater the benefit seemed to be. Han plans to further study whether or not the link is correlative or causative.

Safeguard Against Heart Failure.Elizabeth Mostofskyfrom Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center and her colleagues found that coffee is good for your heart—until the second American-sized mug. Before that point, however, coffee drinkers had an 11 percent decreased risk of suffering from heart failure.

Lower the Risk of Stroke. Investigators at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute and Harvard University found that drinking coffee—even decaffeinated coffee—can decrease the risk of strokes, because coffee is filled with beneficial antioxidants. When compared against soda, which elevated the risk of strokes, coffee was associated with a 10 percent decrease in stroke risk.


Celebrate the health benefits of coffee by telling us about the best cup of coffee you’ve had!

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