1984 was a very bad year for the health status of coffee, but 2022 data shows it's heart-healthy

 

Real data changes things. Real data shows you what's real and what's not. 

 In 1984, an article appeared in the academic journal, Social Problems, entitled “Coffee Drinking: An Emerging Social Problem?” 

In this article, the authors Ronald Troyer and Gerald Markle wrote: “Though coffee has been suspect for some 300 years, public attention since 1970 has been focused on medical research which suggests that the caffeine in coffee may cause cancer, birth defects, and heart disease.”


 It seems farfetched now, but coffee was once considered a vice that could lead to sickness and even death. Now, 37 years later, we have an ever-growing base of evidence showing that overall coffee, in its purest form, is good for us.   

A study published in March 2022 showed that drinking 1.5-3.5 cups of coffee a day reduced mortality by 30% during the 7-year study period. This is based on analysis of data from more than 170,000 people between the ages of 37 and 73—the average age was 57.

A separate 2021 study using the same dataset (the U.K. Biobank) showed that drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of getting heart disease, heart failure, and arrhythmia by 10%-15%. It also lowers the risk of stroke.

Much of this life-extending, heart-healthy benefit comes from two main sources---the antioxidants in coffee and the impact of caffeine, which improves metabolism, enhances exercise performance, and increases alertness and concentration.

So what is it about coffee that makes it such a powerful health enhancer? So powerful, in fact, that many people refer to it as an elixir of youth.

According to the study’s lead researcher, Peter M. Kistler, MD, “People often equate coffee with caffeine, but coffee beans actually have over 100 biologically active components. These substances can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, boost metabolism, inhibit the gut’s absorption of fat and block receptors known to be involved with abnormal heart rhythms.”

When results of this study were presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting, one  takeaway was how deeply ingrained this idea of coffee being bad for the heart is. Dr. Kistler has noted that doctors often suggest decreasing coffee intake in high-risk cardiovascular patients. But now we have real data that suggests otherwise.

Studies like this make me ask myself what else we think is bad (or good) for us, but isn’t. There are, in fact, lots of examples. But staying on the topic of coffee, you should know that whether it’s hot or iced, caf or decaf—the health benefits are real. Drink up and enjoy!




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happiness Is…Buying a New Coffee Maker & Getting a Refund for the Old One

Starbucks: the (quietly grand) reopening---btw, are you a manufactured morning person?

Chock Full o’Nuts: good coffee and ethics, but no nuts & an interesting Parkinson’s connection