Weight Loss MAP to Freedom

How Good Coffee is for You

Yes, you read it right. There seem to be more credible research studies showing the positive effects from drinking coffee (in the morning so that it’s doesn’t keep you up when you want to go to sleep) than there are those showing benefits from not drinking coffee.

coffee plant illusHere are results I’ve read within the last year or so, with the link to the research findings summary:

1. Overall, the highest coffee intake was inversely associated with a risk of malignant melanoma, with a 20% lower risk for those who consumed 4 cups per day or more. There was also a trend toward more protection with higher intake, with the protective effect increasing from 1 or fewer cups to 4 or more.  
However, the effect was statistically significant for caffeinated but not decaffeinated coffee and only for protection against malignant melanoma but not melanoma in-situ, which may have a different etiology.  -E. Loftfield, N. D. Freedman, B. I. Graubard, A. R. Hollenbeck, F. M. Shebl, S. T. Mayne, R. Sinha. Coffee Drinking and Cutaneous Melanoma Risk in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2015; 107 (2): dju421 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/dju421

2.Researchers from the National Cancer Institute report that decaffeinated coffee drinking may benefit liver health. Results of the study published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, show that higher coffee consumption, regardless of caffeine content, was linked to lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes.  Dr. Xiao concludes, “Our findings link total and decaffeinated coffee intake to lower liver enzyme levels. These data suggest that ingredients in coffee, other than caffeine, may promote liver health. Further studies are needed to identify these components.”  Hepatology, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/hep.27367

3.  “Caffeine intake has been associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and our study shows that coffee intake may also protect against MS, supporting the idea that the drug may have protective effects for the brain,” said study author Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR, with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and a member of the American Academy of Neurology,  according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, April 18 to 25, 2015.
-American Academy of Neurology (AAN). “Can coffee reduce your risk of MS?.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2015. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150226163245.htm

4.  The authors say: “In these 3 large prospective cohorts with more than 1.6 million person-years of follow-up, we observed that increasing coffee, but not tea, intake over a 4-year period was associated with a lower type 2 diabetes risk in the next 4 years. Decreasing coffee intake was associated with a higher type 2 diabetes risk. These changes in risk were observed for caffeinated, but not decaffeinated coffee, and were independent of initial coffee consumption and 4-year changes in other dietary and lifestyle factors.”  “The authors documented 7,269 incident type 2 diabetes cases, and found that participants who increased their coffee consumption by more than 1 cup/day (median change=1.69 cups/day) over a 4-year period had a 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the subsequent four years compared to those who made no changes in consumption. Participants who decreased their coffee intake by 1 cup a day or more (median change=-2 cups/day) had a 17% higher risk for type 2 diabetes. ”   Diabetologia, April 2014 DOI: 10.1007/s00125-014-3235-7

5.  “New research reveals that consuming two or more cups of coffee each day reduces the risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66%, specifically cirrhosis caused by non-viral hepatitis.”  Hepatology, 2014; DOI:10.1002/hep.27054

6.  “A chemical compound commonly found in coffee may help prevent some of the damaging effects of obesity. Scientists have found that chlorogenic acid, or CGA, significantly reduced insulin resistance and accumulation of fat in the livers of mice who were fed a high-fat diet … researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that a chemical compound commonly found in coffee may help prevent some of the damaging effects of obesity … Our study expands on this research by looking at the benefits associated with this specific compound, which is found in great abundance in coffee, but also in other fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, tomatoes and blueberries … They found that CGA was not only effective in preventing weight gain, but it also helped maintain normal blood sugar levels and healthy liver composition. … CGA is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation.”  Note – study done on mice – DOI: 10.1007/s11095-014-1526-9

7.  “Coffee drinkers, rejoice! Aside from java’s energy jolt, food scientists say you may reap another health benefit from a daily cup of joe: prevention of deteriorating eyesight and possible blindness from retinal degeneration due to glaucoma, aging and diabetes.  “Previous studies have shown that coffee also cuts the risk of such chronic diseases as Parkinson’s, prostate cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive declines. Since scientists know that CLA and its metabolites are absorbed in the human digestive system, the next step for this research is to determine whether drinking coffee facilitates CLA to cross a membrane known as the blood-retinal barrier. If drinking coffee proves to deliver CLA directly into the retina, doctors may one day recommend an appropriate brew to prevent retinal damage.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2014; 62 (1): 182 DOI: 10.1021/jf404285v

In any given month in the health section or research section of an everyday magazine, I see a summary of a study pointing out benefits from drinking coffee.  I have more to share about coffee’s benefits, especially for aging adults, but I will post them later as this is getting long.

As a weight loss coach, I recommend drinking it black, no sugar or milk, and certainly no flavored creams, they are fake food and full of calories. You CAN get used to drinking it black pretty quickly, and less sugar each day lessens your desire for sweets in general. Plus, you’ll save money if lattes or cappuccinos are common choices.

If you decide to drink a cup or more of coffee a day,  up your water intake to counteract dehydration from coffee.  Be mindful of how you feel after drinking the coffee and jot it down, good, bad or no change, each day you drink. Do this for at least a few days to a week before making a decision either way.

And, if your medical professional has told you that you cannot drink coffee because of your condition, then don’t. Why? As an example, here is a link to a summary of a study about people of ages from 18-45 with hypertension and slow metabolism of caffeine, and a certain gene, who actually became more at risk for prediabetes when they drank coffee:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902093427.htm   However, think about having a discussion with her or him about your particular situation since the research is so positive.

Will you give coffee another try? You can still drink tea, but studies show the caffeine’s effect is not the same, nor is the caffeine in chocolate.

Your thoughts? A-ha’s? Please share in the comments section. Stay tuned for Part 2 , which will emphasize the psychological and cognitive effects of coffee.

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