Mmmm… Coffee, the aroma, the flavor! It makes our mornings so much better!But is our daily cup of coffee doing more harm than good? There is a lot of research concerning both the negative and the positive effects of coffee drinking. 
 

The Good Cup? Antioxidants: Coffee is loaded with antioxidants like chlorogenic acid and melanoidins. Antioxidants help prevent oxidation, a process that causes damage to cells and contributes to aging. Melanoidins from roasted coffee have antioxidative effects depending on the way the coffee is treated.

Parkinson’s Disease:Regular coffee consumption reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease. A number of studies have demonstrated that people who drink coffee on a regular basis are significantly less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

Diabetes: Coffee consumption is potentially protective against the development of type-2 diabetes. Studies have found that moderate consumption of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee may lower the risk of type-2 diabetes in younger and middle aged women.

Gallstones, Kidney stones: There is some evidence that coffee drinking may be protective against gallstone and kidney stone formation in both men and women.                                                                                                         

Alzheimer’s disease: Regular coffee consumption seems to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies showed that caffeine equivalent to 5 cups of coffee per day reduced the buildup of destructive plaques in the brain.

 

The Bad Cup?

Heart Disease: The relation between coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease has been examined in many studies, but the results remain controversial. Most studies have not found coffee consumption to be associated with significantly increased cardiovascular disease risk.

On one hand, diterpenes cafestol and kahweol present in unfiltered coffee and caffeine each appear to increase risk of coronary heart disease. High quality studies have confirmed the cholesterol-raising effect of diterpenes. Coffee consumption is also associated with an increase of plasma homocysteine, a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

On the other hand, a lower risk of heart disease among moderate coffee drinkers might be due to antioxidants found in coffee. Besides that, caffeine can increase the risk of heart attack, especially among those people who carry the ‘slow gene’ variant for the enzyme that metabolizes caffeine.

Heart rhythm disturbances: Coffee can cause rapid or irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias).

Osteoporosis: Coffee intake may induce an extra urinary excretion of calcium. Heavy consumption (4 cups = 600 ml or more) can modestly increase the risk of osteoporosis, especially in women with a low calcium intake.

Sleep: Most of us are aware of the stimulatory effects of caffeine. High amounts of caffeine taken before going to sleep can cause restlessness and difficulty falling asleep, tendency to be awakened more readily by sudden noises, and a decreased quality of sleep. However, some people can drink coffee and fall right asleep.

Dehydration: The caffeine in coffee is a mild diuretic and can increase urine excretion. This effect can be easily neutralized by drinking an extra glass of water.

 

So what is the key?

The old principle – “everything in moderation” – holds true for coffee. It is not bad unless you over use it. Coffee has its down-sides, but offers enough good points to make it a worthwhile drink. For moderate coffee drinkers (3-4 cups/day providing 300-400 mg/day of caffeine), there is little evidence of health risks and some evidence of health benefits. And for sure you enjoy your coffee as part of a healthy diet.

 

Source: A fwd email.