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The Health Benefits and Cons of Coffee

By EatingWell Editors, "The Health Perks & Pans of Coffee," March/April 2011

Information every coffee lover should have.


READER'S COMMENT:
"Keep in mind, this article speaks about coffee WITHOUT any creams or sugars. If you're the type of drinker that has sugar with a side of coffee in their cup, your cup of java will have added health cons than someone who drinks it straight...

Health Benefits of Coffee

+Brain Gains. Moderate coffee drinking—between 1 and 5 cups daily—may help reduce risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease, studies suggest. How? Coffee’s antioxidants may prevent some damage to brain cells and boost the effects of neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function, say experts. ­Preliminary studies have noted that as coffee (or tea) intake rises, ­incidence of glioma, a form of brain cancer, tends to drop. Some ­researchers speculate that compounds in the brews could activate a DNA-repairing protein in cells—possibly preventing the DNA damage that can lead to cells becoming cancerous.

+Defeating Diabetes. Studies link frequent coffee consumption (4 cups per day or more) with a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Scientists suspect that antioxidant compounds in coffee—cholorogenic acid and quinides—may boost cells’ sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar. While most of the research didn’t assess whether the brews were caffeinated, decaf may be even better, since other studies have found that caffeine tends to blunt the insulin-sensitivity boost.

Next: More Health Benefits of Coffee »



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