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Healthy note: Coffee, good and bad

  • In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2012, the $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound) Black Ivory coffee is poured into a cup at a hotel restaurant in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. A Canadian entrepreneur with a background in civet coffee has teamed up with a herd of 20 elephants, gourmet roasters and one of the country's top hotels to produce the Black Ivory, a new blend from the hills of northern Thailand and the excrement of elephants which ranks among the world's most expensive cups of coffee. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

    In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2012, the $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound) Black Ivory coffee is poured into a cup at a hotel restaurant in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. A Canadian entrepreneur with a background in civet coffee has teamed up with a herd of 20 elephants, gourmet roasters and one of the country's top hotels to produce the Black Ivory, a new blend from the hills of northern Thailand and the excrement of elephants which ranks among the world's most expensive cups of coffee. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Sugar and Coffee on Caf? Table

    Sugar and Coffee on Caf? Table Purchase photo reprints »

  • In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2012, the $1,100 per kilogram ($500 per pound) Black Ivory coffee is poured into a cup at a hotel restaurant in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. A Canadian entrepreneur with a background in civet coffee has teamed up with a herd of 20 elephants, gourmet roasters and one of the country's top hotels to produce the Black Ivory, a new blend from the hills of northern Thailand and the excrement of elephants which ranks among the world's most expensive cups of coffee. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)
  • Sugar and Coffee on Caf? Table

Coffee, good and bad

Is coffee is good or bad for your health? The answer is both good and bad.

Many studies have been done that show no overall adverse outcome on health associated with caffeine from coffee. However, there are certain aspects of coffee drinking that may be deleterious to health.

The Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professions Follow-up study done on 130,000 people tracked caffeine consumption for approximately 20 years and found that coffee does not increase mortality; it was not linked to cancer or heart disease.

Studies around the world consistently show high consumption of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee is associated with low risk of type 2 diabetes, so scientists hypothesize there may be a long-term benefit from caffeine on diabetes. It also may protect against Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer and liver cirrhosis, as well as a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. And coffee drinking lowers the risk of depression in women.

The bad news is that coffee contains cafestol, which increases LDL cholesterol levels. Usually, this is resolved by using a paper filter. However, if you drink your coffee boiled and unfiltered, via French press, or Turkish style, you will ingest large levels of cafestol. Unfiltered coffee has been shown in some studies to increase LDL by 8 percent.

There may be a short-term negative effect on diabetes with coffee. In studies that give people caffeine or caffeinated coffee, followed by something rich in glucose, it was found that the subjects’ sensitivity to insulin dropped and their blood-glucose levels were higher than expected.

— THE SACRAMENTO BEE

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