In the face of so much hard-to-swallow news, I am often tempted to say out loud, “Tell me something good.” Well, it turns out that there is good news pouring forth from medical journals this month about the health benefits of coffee.
Epic news from the EPIC study about the health effects of coffee---based on data on over 42,000 German men and women. According to EPIC, coffee does not increase the risk of chronic disease, cardiovascular disease, or cancer. It does, however, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 23 to 30% if you drink 4 or more cups a day.
And in a separate study from Ophthalmology Journal, also published in April 2012, caffeine significantly improves the symptoms of dry eye disease. The results of this Tokyo-based research represent good news for the more than 4 million Americans who suffer from this very uncomfortable, debilitating condition---a condition that can lead to severely diminished eyesight and even disability.
What’s the connection between caffeine and tears? Secretion. Coffee stimulates lots of different bodily secretions, including saliva, digestive juices---and tears. In general, coffee stimulates, turning morning fogginess into a sense of brightness and clarity as the morning goes on---and so one cup becomes two.
While we have known that coffee decreases the risk of diabetes for some time now, the whole connection with tear secretion is new.
I am always surprised when I have a conversation with someone who doubts the health-giving properties of coffee, yet doesn't question other clearly detrimental lifestyle choices like overindulging in food or alcohol, or not exercising.
The day is coming when drinking coffee will be a public health initiative....Happy Spring, coffee-drinkers!