Good News For Coffee Drinkers

Coffee, long known as the drink of choice for college students cramming for that final exam and those cursed to arise early in the morning, may be better for you than you think.

A study recently released from lead author, University of Scranton in Pennsylvania chemistry professor, Joe Vinson, shows coffee to hold the lead in anti-oxidant absorption against long-time contender black tea. Trailing coffee and black tea are bananas, dried beans and corn.

Anti-oxidants are known for their anti-cancer and anti-aging properties as well as aiding in protection against heart disease. Usually found in fruits and vegetables, anti-oxidants help to rid the body of free radicals, which cause cancers and heart disease. This study shows people absorb the highest amount of anti-oxidants from coffee.

Other studies have shown moderate (2-4 cups per day) coffee drinkers lower their risk for certain kinds of cancers as well as six 8-ounce cups of coffee cut the risk of type-2 diabetes as much as 30%.

However, before you go out and buy stock in your local coffee shop, there’s no reason to start calling coffee a new health food. Coffee only contains a few types of anti-oxidants while fruits and vegetables contain a variety, which is most beneficial to the human body.

In addition some studies link heavy coffee drinking with reduced fertility, other studies show an increase in LDL-cholesterol (the 'harmful' kind). To what degree this actually contribute to heart attacks is a matter of debate.

People drinking four or more cups per day also have twice the risk of urinary incontinence and women drinking coffee seem to lose more calcium and tend to have less dense bones than non-caffeine drinkers.

All in all most agree that the benefits - at least at moderate consumption levels - outweigh the risks. Bon cafetite!

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