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Coffee and health : Should you drink coffee?

Posted Apr 17 2010 11:30am

coffee and health

Coffee has surely a very long history. Some evidences even suggest that coffee trees were cultivated more than 1000 years ago by some monks. Coffee is now one of the most valuable primary commodities in the world, drank by millions of people worldwide.

In United States, nowadays, an estimated 25% of adults consume more than 5 cups a day. The coffee consumption surpasses by far some other popular drinks like beer, soft drinks and milk.

Is this healthy? Coffee has been the object of many medical studies. From possible links to pancreatic cancer, hypertension and irregular heart rhythm irregularities, slower absorption of iron and calcium, sleep disorders and PMS, to name just a few. What comes out of those studies is quite interesting. It seems that even if coffee has some bad effects, it seems to also play a positive role in other health issues. So, to drink or not to drink? Here are the pros and cons to help you make a better decision:

Health benefits of drinking coffee

• Reduced risk of Alzheimer and Dementia
• Lower incidence of gallstones
• Reduced risk of Parkinson disease
• Helps cognitive performance
• Increases the effectiveness of painkillers
• Reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes
• Liver cirrhosis and liver cancer prevention
• Oral, esophageal and pharyngeal cancer prevention
• Reduced risk of heart diseases related death
• Laxative (helps bowel movements)
• Antioxidant
• Cavities prevention through reduced plaque formation
• Gout prevention (in men over 40)

Health risks of drinking coffee

• Cancer (over 1000 chemicals have been found in roasted coffee, some which might be carcinogens)
• Gastrointestinal problems like gastritis and ulcers.
• Anxiety, irritability and sleep disorders
• Cosmetic (teeth staining)
• Cholesterol (can be prevented by using a paper filter to brew coffee)
• Increased risk of high blood pressure
• Adverse effects on pregnancy
• Iron deficiency (also interferes with supplemental iron absorption)
• Increased risk of coronary heart disease
• Inflammation

And what about you? Do you drink coffee? Have you found some good replacement?

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