Coffee improves health.
kaboompics / Pixabay – Coffee improves health.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine explored coffee and its relationship to mortality. Coffee drinkers compared to non-coffee drinkers had a lower risk of death from all sources. One cup/day to six or more cups/day yielded a range of 6% to 12% of men and 5% to 15% for women. The ages of the test subjects ran from 50 to 71 years of age and their lives were followed for 13 years.

Coffee has had good and bad press over the years. It contains over a thousand different chemical compounds. Other studies have shown that coffee increases lifespans, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and certain neurodegenerative disease and cancers.

It’s hard to identify exactly which chemical compound treats each disease or health risk. Chlorogenic acid is one that has been studied at length. It is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. As such, when studied on its interaction with the cardiovascular system, it has been shown to protect/improve heart muscle cells.

Heart attacks can be devastating. Coffee has demonstrated a positive benefit to reduce the risks of congestive heart failure and heart attack. It acts to prevent the clumping of platelets in the heart’s blood vessels. Coffee reduces many of the risks of cardiovascular disease.

Caffeine is another well-known component of coffee. Caffeine studies on brain health show that coffee can reduce the risk of various neurodegenerative disease, especially Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It is most interesting to find that people with early onset Alzheimer’s disease can expect a much slower progression of that disease compared to non-coffee drinkers.

Much of the research on brain cells and caffeine have been done on animals. The beta-amyloid protein responsible (one of many) for Alzheimer’s disease is kept in check by caffeine. The anti-inflammatory effect of caffeine is believed to be responsible for this protection.

There are other sources of caffeine if you are not a coffee drinker. Tea and chocolate are favorites of many. Coffee is not the panacea for everyone. Some coffee drinkers suffer insomnia, nervousness, upset stomach, nausea and even vomiting. Most people experience an increase in the heart and breathing rates. I know more than a few people who gave up coffee because it caused them headaches.

We are not all alike. We react to differently to the same foods. My wife was never a coffee drinker until after she had chemotherapy for breast cancer. Now she regularly enjoys a couple (or more) cups a day. Personally, I’ve never like the taste or smell. But, to each his or her own. If you drink coffee and enjoy it, you will probably have better health than those friends of yours who do not drink coffee.

The source of most of this information is from the July 2014 edition of Life Extension magazine (



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