A new study from the United Kingdom (U.K.) found drinking coffee significantly reduces your risk of suffering from a number of major diseases — including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
I found it interesting this study on coffee came from the U.K., where they’ve been more likely to drink Earl Grey tea. (Although the English coffee houses of the 1600s were legendary meeting places for philosophers, scholars, and poets in the midst of political and social upheavals.)
But regardless of their beverage of choice, their results were striking indeed…
Coffee drinkers lower their disease risk
The new U.K. analysis looked at data from 201 previously published studies. And the researchers found that coffee consumption reduced the risk of heart disease by 15 percent and heart disease-related mortality by 19 percent.
Coffee was also shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 17 percent (which reinforces the findings of previous studies, as I explained in a Daily Dispatch a last summer. And risk of liver cancer was 34 percent lower in coffee drinkers.
The U.K. analysis also found that drinking coffee offers several long-term brain benefits. In fact, regular coffee consumption lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia by 27 percent and the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 36 percent.
In addition to these long-term benefits, coffee immediately increases energy levels and cognitive performance. As a natural stimulant, it also enhances mood. Some studies even suggest drinking coffee lowers the risk of depression and suicide.
Other studies suggest coffee can even help manage healthy weight. (Although coffee beans as weight-loss supplements have not panned out, as I revealed a few years ago. So, stick to drinking moderate amounts of actual brewed coffee.)
Interestingly, this new analysis showed that drinking decaffeinated coffee had similar benefits, suggesting that the health-promoting effects don’t all stem from caffeine alone.
Of course, coffee contains hundreds of natural, bioactive compounds — including antioxidants, polyphenols, and other phytonutrients. The therapeutic effects of these bioactive compounds include anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-cancer properties.
There are many factors that determine how many of these bioactive compounds make their way into your coffee cup. The way the coffee is roasted (light, medium, and dark) can alter chemical composition. Additionally, the way it’s brewed (standard drip, French press, espresso, and cold brew) can determine what compounds and levels are pulled into the final product.
But at the end of the day (or rather, the beginning of the day), any combination of these bioactive compounds will provide health-promoting benefits.
For most people, coffee’s benefits far outweigh the risks
However, the researchers of the new analysis did offer a few warnings…
First, pregnant women shouldn’t drink coffee in excess due to possible risk of miscarriage. Also, women who drink coffee can pass on the caffeine to their nursing infants, which can make your baby fussy or cranky.
Second, the research linked coffee to an increased risk of lung cancer. That finding certainly raises a red flag. But the researchers should look up from the data once in a while, because sometimes there’s a logical explanation…
People who smoke excessively also typically consume more coffee. I’d personally like to see more research, as excess smoking is most likely the real culprit here.
Third, drinking coffee can cause mild increases in blood pressure. But this small increase usually goes away over time. Plus, long-term consumption actually reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. And many studies suggest mild increases in blood pressure may improve circulation to the brain and heart muscle in older people.
Overall, these risks are small compared to the benefits coffee offers.
This analysis — as well as previously published studies — observed the greatest benefits by drinking three to four cups of coffee per day. So, aim for that moderate amount. Adding organic cream, half and half, or milk is perfectly fine if you don’t take it black. But don’t add sugar.
Of course, many so-called experts still doubt the benefits of coffee consumption perhaps due to of its outdated associations as being a “vice” or a “crutch.” But they really need to catch up with the science.
If you’d like to read more about coffee’s health benefits, I discuss this topic extensively in my Authentic Anti-Cancer Protocol. Of course, coffee is only one of the dietary recommendations in my cancer-fighting arsenal. I also share how simple adjustments to your lifestyle, diet, supplement routine, and screening methods can make all the difference. Click here to learn more or enroll today.
“Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes,” BMJ 2017;359:j5024