Coffee: Health Risk Or Health Booster?

As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?

– Cassandra Clare

coffee, coffee cup

If you’re like many Americans, you start your day with a cup of coffee. If you’re like many Americans, you probably wonder whether the caffeine is damaging your health. If you are like many Americans, you let go of the thought and finish your coffee.

Fortunately, recent studies show that coffee, not only isn’t as harmful as people once thought, but it even has health benefits.

Coffee and your Health

Donald Hensrud, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic, debunks some common myths and presents the following facts:

  • Coffee does not lead to a greater risk of heart disease
  • Coffee does not lead to a greater risk of cancer
  • Some studies show a connection between coffee consumption and fewer deaths
  • Coffee might protect against:
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Liver disease, including liver cancer
  • Coffee seems to improve cognitive functioning
  • Coffee seems to lower the danger of depression

How Much is Too Much?

Hensrud warns, though, that drinking too much or consuming unfiltered coffee may bring your cholesterol levels up a bit.

Then there are the addons: sugar, cream, etc. The calories these add are a different story.

Just how much is harmful? It may depend on your metabolism. For people whose bodies breakdown caffeine slowly, due to a genetic mutation, just two cups may be enough to raise the chance of heart disease. However, some studies show that 2 to 4 cups correlate with less death. These contradictory findings suggest that there’s more we need to know about the magic number of cups for you.

Another issue to look out for is insomnia. You don’t want too much caffeine in your system when you’re trying to sleep. So, coffee is best in the morning, when you want to be awake and alert.

Then there’s anxiety. People suffering from anxiety get triggered by caffeine and it also keeps it around as long as the caffeine is in the body.

So, go ahead, enjoy that coffee and its health benefits, but you might want to find yourself something else to add to your beverage diet.

What changes do you see yourself making to your coffee habits?

Please share in the comments below.