The Health Benefits of Coffee
In-depth studies are suggesting that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of developing depression, from findings which were published in ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’.
This research found coffee drinkers to have lower suicide rates and that drinking coffee increases positive feelings of wellbeing. From 1996 to 2006, the Harvard Medical School team monitored the mental health of over 50,000 female nurses, 2600 of which were found to be non-coffee drinkers and also developed depression. Alternatively, women who consumed two to three cups of coffee per day were found to have a 15% less chance of developing depression, due to the mood-lifting chemicals within the drink. More research is still required on this topic, however the current statistics show that coffee could improve more than just our physical health.
Despite rumours that drinking coffee can lead to an increased stroke risk, studies have found that the beverage can actually reduce the risk, through changes in blood vessel physiology.
A study that monitored 80,000 women for 20 years concluded that their chances of developing a clot on the brain were reduced by 20%, if they were regular coffee drinkers. Some chemicals in coffee were discovered to cut the risk of stroke by lowering the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a study in North Korea found that people who consumed between three and five cups of coffee per day were significantly less likely to develop the first signs of heart disease. Calcium deposits in the arteries are one of the first signs, and people who consumed the optimum amount were 19% less likely to develop these.
Liver disease is one of the most dangerous conditions and results in 40 deaths within the UK alone, every day.
Investigations have concluded that coffee can protect the liver cells, as coffee drinkers were found to be 40% less likely to develop liver cancer. Liver cancer is often thought to develop due to an already existing problem, showing that drinking coffee protects the liver overall, and boosts the health of the cells. This discovery could greatly favour the health of people in the United Kingdom, as liver disease is known to show little to no symptoms until it is too late, and simply consuming a few cups of coffee per day could significantly slow the progression of the disease. Such an easy lifestyle change could make a huge difference.
The effect of coffee that is less recognised is the protection against Dementia and Alzheimers Disease. In a study researching the effects of tea and coffee, consuming three to five cups of coffee per day was shown to decrease the risk of dementia and Alzheimers disease by 65% during later life. The chemicals within coffee that cause this decline in risk are thought to be caffeine, antioxidant capacity and increased insulin sensitivity. These findings could be crucial for slowing the development of these diseases and preventing them in the long term.