Coffee’s Hidden Health Benefits
Most often people focus on the bad effects of caffeine on health. However, we should know that there are many studies that have been conducted in recent years point to the health benefits of caffeine as well. This is great news for avid coffee drinkers.
Reasons not to stop drinking coffee
A research study from Mayo Clinic found that coffee consumption could lower the risk of a liver disease. Three groups of people totaling 1,334 participated in the study. One group had 348 primary sclerosing cholangitis or PSC patients, another with 530 primary biliary cirrhosis or PBC patients and the third is a control group of 456 people.
The results of the study showed that those who drank more coffee had reduced risk for PSC. However, coffee drinking did not seem to have any effect on PBC. The researchers, therefore, think that the liver condition PSC is significantly different from PBC.
Further research on this matter should include knowing more about the causes of the liver conditions and discovering the most effective treatment for them.
Protecting alcohol drinkers from liver damage
Another way that coffee or caffeine benefits the liver is by protecting it against damage due to alcohol drinking.
A research study in Finland at the University of Tampere showed the protective effect of heavy consumption of coffee on the liver of alcohol drinkers. Drinking almost the same amounts of coffee and alcohol decreased enzyme activity and gamma-glutamyltransferase levels, which benefits liver function.
Drinking coffee could also lower a person’s risk for hemorrhagic stroke by 20 percent. This appears to be the conclusion of a study that involved the participation of 83,000 coffee and tea drinkers.
Coffee may also lower a person’s risk for depression. Drinking diet soda and other caffeinated drinks has been associated to having depression. But coffee has the opposite effect of actually lowering the risk for depression by 10 percent.
Aside from the above-mentioned findings, there are many other health benefits of drinking coffee including lower risk for cavities, heart disease, stress, breast cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Photo credits: By tenaciousme via Flickr, CC by 2.0