Coffee... the morning energy and reason why many of us are able to get through the first part of our days. Studies, as reported by The Huffington Post, continue to show that we may be benefitting from more than just the energy-boosting caffeine in coffee, there may also be cancer-preventing and depression-lowering effects, just to name a few.
The 7 Health Benefits:
- Coffee (or, at least, the caffeine) Can Help You Proofread Better. The caffeine in coffee could actually help you to spot grammar errors, according to a new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Researchers found that caffeine helped students to correct errors in subject-verb agreement and verb tense, MSNBC reported. However, the caffeine still didn't seem to make a difference at identifying misspelled words.
- Coffee Could Lower Women's Depression. Women who drink a few cups of caffeinated coffee have a lower risk of depression than women who don't drink any coffee, according to a Harvard study. The research, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that women who drink two to three cups of coffee a day have a 15 percent lower risk, while women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk. Study researcher Dr. Albert Ascherio commented that "caffeine is known to affect the brain," because it "modulates the release of mood transmitters." "I'm not saying we're on the path to discovering a new way to prevent depression," he said. "But I think you can be reassured that if you are drinking coffee, it is coming out as a positive thing."
- Coffee Could Save Your Brain. A study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease suggests that there is "something" in coffee, though researchers have yet to determine what exactly that "something" is, that interacts with caffeine to boost the levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF), a growth factor that seems to be able to fight off Alzheimer's disease in mice. The amount of coffee needed in the study is equivalent to about four or five cups of coffee for humans. Researchers said GCSF likely has this effect because it causes stem cells in the bone marrow to come into the brain and remove the beta-amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. It also has a role in forming brain cell connections and creating new brain neurons, researchers said.
- Coffee Could Lower Men's Risk of Prostate Cancer. A Harvard School of Public Health study shows that men who drink six cups of coffee a day have a 60 percent decreased chance of developing a dangerous form of prostate cancer, as well as a 20 percent decreased chance of developing any other kinds of prostate cancer. The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, also shows that just drinking just some coffee a day, one to three cups, could still cut prostate cancer risk by 30 percent.
- Coffee Could Ward Off The World's Most Common Cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma. New research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference shows that coffee could help to ward off basal cell carcinoma. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that women who drink three or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of the skin cancer, while men had a 9 percent lower risk. Decaf coffee didn't seem to have the same protective effect.
- Coffee Could Protect You From Type 2 Diabetes. Drinking coffee is associated with a lower Type 2 diabetes risk, with more coffee consumption linked to a greater decrease in risk, according to an Archives of Internal Medicine review of studies from 2009. In that review, researchers looked at data from more than 450,000 people in 18 studies, and found that for every extra cup of coffee drank a day, a person's risk of Type 2 diabetes decreased by 7 percent.
- Coffee Could Decrease Parkinson's Risk. Drinking a few cups of coffee a day could lower the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by as much as 25 percent, according to a study published last year in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. In that review of studies, which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers examined 26 studies that involved 125,000 British people, to find that two or three cups of coffee seemed to have the optimal effect, The Telegraph reported.
As with all good things, moderation is key. Experts tend to agree that the good largely outweighs the bad for most people, but remember to consume in moderation (and skip calorie-heavy add-ins like sugar and cream).