7 Healthy Perks of Drinking Coffee

There has been so much about coffee in the news these past few months. A number of significant studies have look at its effects on reducing everything from heart disease, cancer and diabetes. There's been a number of reviews around studies that have cited the benefits of various aspects of drinking coffee. Most studies recognize a "cup of coffee" being an 8 ounce serving and when we talk about coffee, we mean black coffee, not with milk, sugar, syrup and other additives. Across the board of most studies, 3-4 cups per day for most everyone is where the peak benefit can be traced to.  Pregnant women and those who suffer from acid reflux and other issues should stay away.Here are 7 benefits you should know. 

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. Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

·        In a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, men and women who upped their daily coffee intake lowered the risk of Type II Diabetes by 11 percent in just four years.

·        Meanwhile, those who decreased their coffee intake by more than a cup per day increased their risk by 17 percent.

·        While the exact mechanism is not known, chlorogenic acid (an antioxidant) and magnesium’s influence on metabolic pathways, glucose metabolism and inflammation may play a role

·        Moreover, coffee may hit Type 2 diabetes with a one-two punch by reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

·        People with Type 2 diabetes typically have a higher cardiovascular disease mortality risk, as insulin resistance is linked with high blood pressure,  according to the American Heart Association.

2. Faster Weight Loss

·        Researchers can’t seem to agree on coffee and caffeine’s effects on weight loss; while compounds such as chlorogenic acid and quinides in coffee may potentially aid in weight loss, excessive intake has been linked with weight gain.

·        Either way, if you don’t load your coffee with cream and sugar, coffee can be a healthy part of a calorie-controlled diet

·        How coffee really makes a dent in the scale is by increasing your exercise performance.

·        The American College of Medicine has stated that caffeine intake fuels exercise performance and can result in longer, harder workouts.

·        And a recent study from the University of Birmingham shows that, despite what you’ve probably heard, coffee doesn’t dehydrate the body, meaning it’s great pre-workout drink.

3. Improved Cognitive Function

·        You probably drink it to wake up and get focused but, over the long term, coffee may prevent the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, buildups of protein in the brain, both of which are trademarks of Alzheimer's.

·        She notes that coffee is rich in free radical-scavenging antioxidants, which are believed to reduce inflammation and decrease the deterioration of brain cells throughout the aging process.

·        Coffee can have a protective effect, no matter your age (or cognitive health).

·        In fact, in adults 65 and older who are already showing signs of memory problems, drinking three cups of coffee per day may delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease by two to four years, according in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

4. Better Kidney and Liver Health

·        Frequent post-coffee trips to the bathroom make one thing clear:

·         Coffee has huge effects on your gastrointestinal and urinary tract.

·        But they aren’t all inconvenient.

·        By increasing urinary flow, caffeine decreases the potential for deposits to linger and form kidney stones.

·        One 2014 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who consumed caffeine had lower risks of kidney stones.

·        Coffee is also linked to a lower risk of gallbladder and liver disease.

·        In one 2014 Hepatology study, researchers examined the coffee-drinking habits of 27,793 people and found that compared with people who drank no coffee, those who drank three cups a day (regular or decaf) were about 25 percent less likely to have abnormal liver enzyme levels compared to people who didn’t run on coffee. The reason is currently unknown.

5. A Smaller Risk of Cancer

·        Research is increasingly linking consumption of both regular and decaf coffee to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. 

·        A 2011 study published in Breast Cancer Research found that women who drink five or more cups of coffee a day are 57 percent less likely to develop estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer compared to women who drink less than a cup a day.

·        And, in men, drinking four or more cups of coffee per day is linked with a 59 percent reduced risk of prostate cancer recurrence and/or progression compared to those who drank one or fewer cups each week, per a 2013 study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

·        The connection may go back to those free-radical fighting antioxidants. Researchers behind the prostate-cancer study note that diterpenes cafestol and kahweol, fat-soluble compounds in coffee, may inhibit cancer growth, while chlorogenic acid can inhibit DNA mutations.

·        Caffeine can inhibit cell growth and has been linked, independent of coffee consumption, to reduced incidences of basal-cell carcinoma and ovarian cancer.

6. Enhanced Sexual Health

·        Many sexual woes, including erectile dysfunction and decreased vaginal lubrication are a matter of blood not getting where it needs to be.

·        So, by improving arterial health and decreasing the risk of plaque formation, coffee may not only improve heart health.

·        It may improve sexual health.

·        For example, a 2015 PLOS ONE study shows that men who consumed two to three coffee cups’ worth of caffeine per day had the lowest incidence of ED.

·        Meanwhile, caffeine may also get women’s brains in the mood. In a 2005 animal study from Southwestern University, researchers found that coffee intake stimulated the parts of female mouse brains that signal sexual arousal.

Five subtypes of prostate cancer identified, paving way for more personalized treatments

·        Through genomic profiling of 259 men with prostate cancer, scientists have identified five groups of prostate cancer with distinct DNA signatures.

·        The discovery represents a major advance as researchers can now begin trying to tailor therapies to those subtypes.

·        The approach has worked well in breast cancer and helped millions avoid the unnecessary cost, pain and time spent on treatments that are destined to fail.

·        Such work is the backbone of President Obama's $215 million precision medicine initiative announced in January, which aims to pioneer a new approach to how we treat disease by moving away from a "one-size-fits-all" approach to medicine to one that takes into account things like a person’s genetic makeup, or the genetic profile of a tumor.

·        The prostate cancer study, reported in EBioMedicine, used samples from 482 tumors from those men, who were part of studies in Cambridge, Britain, and Stockholm.

·        The scientists identified 100 genes associated with prostate cancer, including 94 that had not been previously associated with the disease.

·        Most importantly, they found that a small subset of the 100 genes predicted poor prognosis better than any other method that had been used in a clinic setting.

·        For the first time in prostate cancer this study demonstrates the importance of integrated genomic analyses incorporating both benign and tumor tissue data in identifying molecular alterations leading to the generation of robust gene sets that are predictive of clinical outcome in independent patient cohorts

·        Researchers said this information could be "used for early detection of aggressive cases in a clinical setting, and inform treatment decisions."