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Benefits of Coffee

We all know very devoted coffee drinkers, whether it be our friends, family members, spouses or our own enthusiasm for that perfect “cup of joe”. People that enjoy their freshly brewed pot of coffee at home, or visit their local coffee-shop on a regular basis, can’t live without it. When there’s a chill in the air, nothing beats a cup of hot beverage in the morning. The medical community, although somewhat divided regarding if coffee or tea reigns superior, believes there are benefits associated with coffee.

Research results include that coffee drinkers, compared to non-drinkers, have a decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes, less risk for Parkinson’s disease and/or dementia, and may have fewer cases of certain cancers and heart disease. Taken from an article published by WebMD, it appears there’s more good news associated with coffee drinking than negative results. The article does state, however, that the data is inconclusive in areas and coffee may not prevent those conditions.

Even though there’s not “solid proof”, here’s what the studies do show:

  • Diabetes: There was a study done in 2005 with more than 193,000 people. Participants that drank more than 6-7 cups daily were 35% less likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who drank fewer than two cups daily. A 28% lower risk was also discovered for people who drank 4-6 cups a day. With minerals like magnesium and chromium in caffeine, there’s a connection between the natural control of insulin within the body.

  • Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease: the article states the data has been consistent over the years, pointing to the fact that a higher intake of coffee is associated with a decreased risk of these diseases. Why? At this point the exact reason is unclear.

  • Heart Disease: coffee drinking has been associated with lower risks for heart disturbances. A study was done on participants that drank 1-3 cups of coffee per day. The results indicated that they were 20% less likely to be hospitalized for arrhythmias.

So, when the weather is cold outside and you need something to “perk” you up in the morning, it seems coffee isn’t such a bad idea after all. However, keep in mind that too much additional sweetners, either creamer or sugars, turns that potentially healthy drink into more of an unhealthy treat.