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I drink too much coffee! There’s no getting around it… it’s true. I have a penchant for the black-stuff that is simply undeniable.
My wife has been campaigning to get me to reduce my caffeine intake for quite some time, and part of me knows that she’s right. And in fairness I have… I’m now having only two to three mugs of the stuff a day instead of the six or seven that I used to consume. But… and it’s a big but… the three mugs I do have are VERY strong neat espresso, made in one of those stove-top coffee pots. It’s great stuff… but apparently I’m still drinking too much of it.
Or am I…?
It’s a well known fact that too much coffee is bad for you… right? Well, not necessarily, it would seem. In an effort to justify my above-average consumption I turned to the omnipotent oracle of all things — Google — and discovered; surprise, surprise; a wealth of conflicting information on both sides of the argument. The internet is a fantastic resource if you want to find information to refute practically any argument in existence, including the one that too much coffee is bad for you.
For instance, the obviously "highly respected and reputable source" www.healingdaily.com advocates copious coffee consumption to boost health and keep nasties like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease at bay.
"Some studies have shown that coffee may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes," declares an article on the site, going on to explain how researchers at Harvard analyzed data on 120,000 people over an 18-year period and concluded concluded that drinking 1 to 3 cups of caffeinated coffee each day reduces diabetes risk by several percentage points, compared with not drinking coffee at all, but drinking 6 or more cups slashed men’s risk by 54% and women’s risk by 30% over those who avoided coffee. "This study is the latest of hundreds of studies which suggest that coffee may be something of a health food – especially in higher amounts," says the article.
Over the past 20 years, according to www.healingdaily.com, over 19,000 studies have been conducted to examine the impact of coffee on people’s health, and the results, for the most part, are pretty good news for coffee lovers like me. The claims seem to hold water too.
Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenessee, is home to the "Institute for Coffee Studies", where teams of researchers conduct pioneering bio-medical research into the properties of coffee and its effects on human health. They also routinely scan scientific literature, gathering and analysing coffee related data from studies around the world.
"Many of us have worried that something this good must be bad for you," says the Institute’s director, Dr Peter Martin, MD. "But the latest scientific evidence indicates that in moderation (2 to 4 cups per day) coffee may offer key health benefits. ICS is the first research institute to study exactly how this may be. Not much is known about this side of coffee because most studies have focused on caffeine—but coffee contains hundreds of compounds that are poorly studied to date. This research may contribute to a better understanding and treatment of some of the most prevalent diseases of humankind, such as addiction, depression, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease."
So, it seems the notion that drinking coffee is bad for you is somewhat outmoded, and it could, in fact, be doing you a lot of good.
Anyone for coffee?