How you’ll feel throughout your day often depends on how you start your day. And there’s no better way to get your morning going than with a fresh pot of coffee.
Not only does java taste great and provide a quick pick-me-up, researchers are discovering its health benefits are filled to the brim. Among the many powerful antioxidants found in coffee is polyphenol, a chemical that contains chlorogenic acid. Commonly known as a “super-compound”, chlorogenic acid has been connected to lowering inflammation, protecting brain cells, lowering blood pressure, and improving cognition.
In addition to its general benefits, coffee may be key in thwarting numerous health issues and diseases.
The National Institutes of Health studied 400,000 men and women, aged between 50 to 71, for over thirteen years. The results were shocking. The subjects who drank coffee were less likely to die as soon as their non-coffee counterparts. The study also found that coffee drinkers were less likely to die from specific diseases including heart disease, infections, and respiratory illness.
In a nutshell, the more coffee they consumed, the lower their rates of mortality dropped.
Coffee has been shown to lower levels of insulin and estrogen. Both of these hormones in excess are linked to the development of endometrial cancer. Women, ages 34 to 59, who drank four or more cups a day were found to have a 25% less likelihood of developing endometrial cancer.
Even better odds, a Harvard study found women who drank five or more cups of coffee a day faced a 57% less likelihood of developing breast cancer.
Men can see the health benefits as well. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study that followed male subjects for twelve years. Those subjects that drank six or more cups of coffee a day saw a 60% lower risk of developing the most dangerous form of prostate cancer and a 20% lower chance of developing any other forms of prostate cancer.
Even men who just drank one cup of coffee were nearly 30% less likely to develop the cancer.
Not stopping there, a study out of Harvard University found that men who drank at least three cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.
With diabetes on the rise in America it should be a relief to know that coffee drinkers have a better shot at avoiding Type 2 diabetes when paired with proper diet and exercise. In addition to inhibiting the formation of particular proteins that would otherwise attack pancreatic cells, the chlorogenic acid in coffee reduces blood sugar by inhibiting the release of glucose from the small intestine.
A recent study has found that decaffeinated coffee lowers glucose levels even further.
While the disease’s exact cause as well as potential cure remain elusive, coffee may help to delay the onset of dementia exhibited in Alzheimer’s patients, even in adults already exhibiting mental lapses.
Finnish researchers studied 1,400 coffee drinkers for over twenty years. Those that drank three to five cups a day while in their 40s and 50s were 65% less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Reinforcing these findings, a joint study from the Universities of Miami and South Florida have found that patients already suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that had significantly higher levels of caffeine in their blood did not go on to develop dementia. Conversely, MCI subjects in the study with lower levels of caffeine faced progression toward dementia.
BLOOD PRESSURE & STROKE
This may seem counter-intuitive at first.
Sure, coffee raises your heart rate and can even be responsible for occasional palpitations. However, the chlorogenic acid in coffee release nitric acid which in turn works to relax arteries and improves arterial lining – all of which serve to help lower blood pressure.
A study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research discovered that coffee aficionados are less likely to be hospitalized for heart rhythm disturbances than non-coffee drinkers.
Both the Nurses Health Study and Harvard University independently found that those who drank two to three cups a day saw a 19% reduction for the risk associated with stroke.
While no one can rely on the power of coffee alone, a balanced approach of healthy living and diet that includes coffee consumption may prove fundamental in warding off some of life’s more deadly and debilitating diseases.
For more fascinating facts and tips like these check out Dr. G’s blog to get up-to-date integrative medicine news and advice.