Almost every month there is a new report indicating that drinking coffee is not good for health. Almost every type of possible health complication has been attributed to drinking this caffeine-containing beverage.
In the past some studies have claimed that drinking coffee for a long time is not good for health, others claim that drinking too much coffee is bad and yet others insist that only certain types of coffee are bad.
On the other hand, there are other studies, which show that drinking this beverage is good for health. The conflicting results have the public very confused.
Now there is a study, which says that drinking coffee does not increase the risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes or heart disease. (1)
The researchers collected data on more than 42,000 adults in Germany who drank coffee but had no chronic medical disorders. After a followup of nine years they found that coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers were both as likely to develop diabetes, stroke, heart disease or cancer.
However, based on this study the researchers do not advocate people start consuming coffee if they do not like it.
The one positive to come out of the study was that people who drank coffee were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. These data on prevention of type 2 diabetes are consistent with other previously published data. There are also experimental studies, which hint that certain chemicals in coffee can prevent high levels of glucose. (2)
However, this does not mean that coffee should be consumed to prevent type 2 diabetes. The study did not look at other factors like weight, exercise, and family history.
The benefits of coffee in preventing diabetes are definitely not linked to caffeine because this group observed that even decaffeinated drinkers had a low risk of developing diabetes.
For now no matter what future studies show about coffee, it is important for consumers to know that almost everything in excess is not good for health.
Even if coffee does prevent onset of type 2 diabetes, consumers should try to eat a healthy nutritious diet, do some type of exercise, and not smoke. Relying on any supplement or a beverage for disease prevention is often not a realistic goal.
1.Floegel A. Coffee consumption and risk of chronic disease in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)–Germany study.Am J Clin Nutr April 2012ajcn.023648
2.Patil H. Cuppa joe: friend or foe? Effects of chronic coffee consumption on cardiovascular and brain health. Mo Med. 2011 Nov-Dec;108(6):431-8.
Reviewed March 5, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith