The latest good news for coffee drinkers, according to U.S. researchers, is that three to five cups per day could keep the doctor away. Actually, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees have been found to possess a variety of benefits, such as making those who gulp down a cup or more on a daily basis less likely to suffer an early death from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease.
In a study conducted by researchers at the Harvard University Chan School of Public Health and published in the November 16 edition of the journal Circulation, people who don’t drink coffee or drank less than two cups a day were compared to test subjects who admitted consuming three to five cups daily.
It was determined that the latter group – those drinking as many as five cups daily – lived slightly longer and were at a lower risk of dying over a 30-year period from certain chronic diseases.
Dr. Frank B. Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology and a co-author of the study, points out that higher coffee consumption – more than five cups – may not be associated with an increase in health benefits for those taking part in the study. Similarly, in direct relationship with longevity and mortality rates, no evidence was found that the more coffee you drink, the older you’ll live to be.
What the researchers found, however, is that coffee consists of antioxidants, the mineral magnesium, and other chemical compounds – some of which may improve insulin sensitivity, aiding in controlling type-2 diabetes – as well as reduce chronic inflammation in the body, according to Dr. Hu.
Furthermore, it is believed caffeine, a main component in coffee, may play an important part in preventing suicide, deaths generally associated with neurological diseases, and may even act as an antidepressant. But, Hu notes – not enough data was gathered from the present research to prove definitively the positive effects in this regard.
One bit of negative news from the study had to do with coffee drinkers who also smoke. Apparently, whatever positive health effects coffee has on non-smokers, the same couldn’t be said for consumers of tobacco products. In fact, smoking was found to mask any benefits from coffee drinking.
While high coffee intake may not be for everybody – especially pregnant women and children – it can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet, says Dr. Hu.
Still, coffee – whether caffeinated or decaffeinated – when consumed in “moderate” amounts, has a beneficial effect on your mind and body. And, while further studies will need to be made to determine all the good your cup of dark roast will do for you – keep drinking it to your “heart’s delight” – or until another study tells you it’s bad for you.
Until then, have another cup and make sure you don’t miss the open enrollment period, which ends on January 31st, 2016. If you’re currently without health coverage, take advantage of the time left to sign up for a qualifying health plan through Freeway Insurance. Why not get a free low cost health insurance quote today?
Are you a big coffee drinker? Do you think it’s doing your body good? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.