Drinking a good cup of coffee in the morning is routine for many Americans and has been for quite a long time. According to a survey conducted by the World Resources Institute in 2009, the average American drank approximately 416 eight-ounce cups of it throughout the year. If coffee is a regular part of your life, you might want to know what it is doing for you. Here are some ways a consistent intake of java can help your body.
Many sources say that a consistent intake of coffee can help prevent liver cancer and cirrhosis, a condition that results in liver cell death and permanent scarring of liver tissues. Studies have consistently found a significant risk reduction in coffee consumers, which can increase with higher consumption levels.
The specifics of how coffee produces these results are not completely understood, but caffeine and paraxanthine (a primary metabolite of caffeine) are thought to be the major players. Paraxanthine is seen to suppress the creation of connective tissue, reducing new tissue growth. This is observed to slow down the development of liver cancer and alcoholic cirrhosis.
Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease
Higher coffee consumption levels have been linked to a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative condition that affects many Americans across the country. This finding seems to be a result of caffeine, but scientists still aren’t clear on the specifics of how it works. Though, some believe it is the result of how the chemicals in coffee interact with the brain to improve focus and memory.
In addition to this, coffee has been linked to a lower risk of dementia and related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. A study conducted in Sweden and Finland found that people who drank three to five cups of coffee every day were 65% less likely to develop these diseases, compared to occasional- and non-drinkers.
Type 2 Diabetes
There have been many studies done on how drinking coffee affects a person’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Most of these studies have shown that caffeinated coffee has a preventative benefit to this condition. In a 2005 study led by Frank Hu, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, research found that people who said they drank six to seven cups a day were 35% less likely than non-drinkers to have this diagnosis. Those who drank four to six cups a day had a 28% lower risk as well.
The reasoning behind these findings is that coffee contains antioxidants, as well as the minerals chromium and magnesium. These two minerals help the body use insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the body loses its ability to use this hormone, causing blood sugar levels to become unregulated.
Just like any food or beverage, it’s important not to consume too much to the point of transforming something beneficial into something harmful. However, research shows that drinking coffee regularly may have great health benefits for those who don’t have a pre-existing condition that requires a limitation of caffeine. So, pour yourself a cup and enjoy!