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  • What? On Topic...In an Off Topic Section?

    Hi everybody,

    I probably shouldn't post this in an off topic section because it's on topic, but I don't know what section to post this in. So here goes...

    I have been fortunate to enjoy the good life....Travelling to several different places in the world...Visiting different Cafes world wide...In my travels, I have tasted both great coffee and not so great coffee...I enjoy espresso based coffee the most...Point is, I have indulged regularly and often wonder of the negatives to my health because of such excesses...Coffee is on of the indulgences I enjoy the most, and yes, I have wondered the negative effects on my health because of such an indulgence.

    I have heard and read various comments like it's "bad for the heart" or "it's a poison"....I have also heard and read comments like "it's good for you"...And the various evidence to back such claims up...

    Curiosity got the better of me this morning so I went and Googled the subject and quickly came across this article...I know it's one of many, and If you haven't already read this article, I think it's worth a read...I found it to be reasonably level headed in it's findings. I thought you may be interested...

    Coffee and Health | The Nutrition Source | Harvard School of Public Health

    I'd be interested to hear what others have to say about this.


  • #2
    Personally, from what I have read over the years, the 'bad for you' reports tend to be about instant and the 'good for you' reports have to do with properly extracted fresh coffee - whichever way you make it. I think you need the colloids and flavinoids(? - think that's what they were called) that bring the benefits.

    Also the studies that show positives that I ahve seen have been based on drinking coffee, while the negative ones I recall (and I might be biased about what I remember ) were based on particular components of coffee - e.g. too much caffeine is bad etc. The Harvard one is of the former type, looking at real-world consumption of coffee - would be interesting to see what kind of coffee those people drank though.


    • #3
      I would never take any advice presented on the Internet as gospel. Always question the information and the source. In particular, heed the advice provided in the terms of use at the end of the article you linked to.


      • #4
        Naturally coffee fanatics are going to be a bit biased, so... I think coffee is good for you

        I seem to remember some reputable organisation (Mayo clinic, Cochrane) claiming the health effects are fairly neutral, leaning slightly towards beneficial. Its really goint to depend on each persons lifestyle and their genetics. The terpenes in coffee oil might contribute to heart disease in one person, but help prevent a cancer forming in someone else. There have been plenty of studies performed looking at specific diseases, but the hard part is weeding out the confounding factors. I.e. perhaps someone who has 4 espressos a day is more active, has better socioeconomic standing etc.

        Aside from the complexities of the human body, the drink itself varies! Brew styles, beans, and roasts will matter. I can see a lighter fruity coffee offering more than a Spanish charcoal roast.

        I would be wary of the hype around antioxidants such as flavonoids. While there have been several health benefits associated, they are dose dependent. Also the odd thing about cancer reducing compounds is that they usualy promote cancer formation in high levels! The claim that the majority of antioxidants in our diet come from coffee, tea etc simply reveal how poor our diet is!

        I figure if you're going to drink it, you'll get more enjoyment thinking its doing you good. I would say 'everything in moderation' but I might offend the 6+ espresso drinkers here!


        • #5
          I like news sites like news. Com. Au. At least if you don't like an article like coffee or chocolate is bad for you, you can be sure to find a blog post the next week stating the opposite point of view. Buying and selling houses is another good one. "why now is the time to sell your house" then, "why now is the time to buy a house" the next week.

          Coffee seems to be the next popular subject after houses and chocolate.


          • #6
            It's worth considering that the best information will come from systematic reviews or meta-analysis of properly conducted scientific or medical trials or epidemiological data that look at this. Rarely will mainstream media report anything free of editorial influence or in more depth than a punch line to sell a paper.

            For anyone interested I have attached links below which look at the evidence or epidemiological data:

            Caffeine Exposure and the Risk of Parkinson's Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studiess - Journal of Alzheimer's Disease - Volume 20, Supplement 1/ 2010 - IOS Press

            BMC Cancer | Full text | Coffee consumption and risk of cancers: a meta-analysis of cohort studies



            Take home message, coffee = lower risk of heart disease, stroke, most forms of cancer, and Parkinson's Disease.

            Lots of good reasons to drink to good health.