We hear mixed messages about coffee all the time - whether it’s good for you, how much of it you should drink and whether you should go with full fat or skimmed milk, if you have it with milk at all.
Luckily for those of you who are planning on making a few lifestyle changes, coffee does not need to be something that you deprive yourself of.
Professor Clare Collins, of the Dieticians Association of Australia has undertaken a review of the health benefits of coffee. She said: "One of the first things that people give up when they go on a health kick is coffee, and that's a crazy thing to do, because there's evidence of health benefits.“
A review of studies found that those who drank the most coffee had a 14 per cent lower risk of dying prematurely than those who drank the least. Drinking just one to two cups a day translated as an 8 per cent lower risk of a premature death.
Protection from liver cancer
Research shows that naturally occurring ingredients in coffee, such as cafestol, have liver cancer protection properties and coffee appears to help protect the liver from toxins. Analysis of the results from six studies found that the risk of liver cancer was 14 per cent lower with every extra cup of coffee drank in a day.
The results of 28 studies, which include input from more than one million adults, found that people who drank three cups of coffee or more a day had a lower relative risk of developing type 2 diabetes; as opposed to those who rarely drank it. The reason behind this is believed to be that coffee contains chlorogenic acid, which improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Analysis of surveys that included more than 530,000 men found that those who drank more coffee had 10 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer in comparison to those who drank little coffee.
For every additional two cups of coffee drank each day, the cancer risk decreased by 2.5%.
Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, which is why caffeine can stop you getting to sleep. The impact of blocking of the adenosine receptor means that dopamine is increased, which can help people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Dr Robyn Brown, an addiction specialist at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, says that while caffeine can’t stop you getting Parkinson’s it can have protective benefits. Dr Brown says: “Put it this way, if I had Parkinson's disease in my family, I'd probably be drinking coffee every day”.
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