Many busy executive need a cup of java to pep up
their day. But just how good is coffee? Let's find
more studies point to the advantages of drinking
coffee regularly. Angelina R. Bustos, an assistant
professor at the Institute of Human Nutrition and
Food at U.P. Los Banos in the Philippines, looks at
the benefits of this beverage.
1. IT LOWERS THE RISK FOR SEVERAL DISEASES
• Diabetes. Compared with non-coffee drinkers,
people who drink six cups or more of caffeinated
coffee daily have a diabetes risk that is lower by
54% for men and 30% for women, according to findings
by Harvard researchers. Although the scientists cite
the need for further research, their findings do not
deviate much from those of less-publicized studies.
Aside from caffeine, coffee is loaded with
antioxidants and minerals that improve insulin
sensitivity and glucose metabolism.
Parkinson's disease. At least six studies have found
that regular coffee drinkers are up to 80% less
likely to acquire Parkinson's, with three studies
indicating that the more coffee is drunk, the lower
cancer, heart disease and liver cirrhosis. At least
two cups of coffee per day can lower the risk of
colon cancer by 25% and liver cirrhosis by 80%.
has antioxidants that protect cells against free
radicals, which are implicated in cancer, heart
disease and degenerative brain disorders.
• Gallstones. Coffee's ability to increase bile flow
and inhibit biliary cholesterol from crystallising
helps limit the formation of gallstones.
2. IT HELPS TREAT VARIOUS AILMENTS.
• Headaches. Do you know that pain relievers contain
up to 120 mg of caffeine in a single dose? That's
roughly the same amount found in a mug of coffee!
"Caffeine is added to pain medications because it
improves absorption in increasing pain-killing
effects," explains Bustos.
Asthma. When an attack comes on, have a strong cup
of coffee. Caffeine is chemically related to
theophylline, a standard asthma medication that
helps open airways. According to Bustos, drinking at
least three cups a day may also reduce asthma
Constipation. Caffeine has a bowel-loosening effect
that stimulates the colon and induces bowel
Hang-over. Shorten the agony by drinking a cup or
two of coffee. Caffeine is a vaso-constrictor that
narrows the swollen blood vessels in the head.
Just don't drink too much or you risk becoming more
dehydrated because coffee, like alcohol, is a
3. IT ENHANCES ATHLETIC ENDURANCE AND
show that caffeine boosts strength and endurance. By
consuming enough caffeine, you will likely be
faster, stronger and last longer in physical
WORDS OF CAUTION
Despite its health benefits, coffee isn't for
everyone. With some individuals, excessive coffee
may not be tolerated well, increase cholesterol
levels and aid in artery clogging.
And don't forget - coffee stains teeth.
And while recent studies show no considerable
adverse effects on most healthy people, those with
heart problems, are at risk for osteoporosis and are
pregnant should regulate their coffee intake or
avoid it altogether.
Until the issues surrounding coffee are resolved,
the American Heart Association recommends moderation
in consumption: so, stick to 1-2 cups a day.