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The Health Benefits of Coffee

The Health Benefits of Coffee

Ahhh Coffee. That seductress that gladly has us pay $5 for a 16 oz cup of heaven. Good news friends. Coffee is more than caffeine in a cup. It also has potential health benefits too.  Now I’m not talking about those fancy $7 sugar drinks masked as coffee.  Just your plain, filtered black joe.

Coffee has been studied in the prevention of Parkinson’s disease, gallstone disease, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and breast cancer. It’s also been used to treat headaches, hypotension, weight loss, and ADHD. Let’s talk about a few of these.

Antioxidants
Although coffee is famously known for its caffeine, she has a much more impressive side. It’s one of the riches sources of Chlorogenic acid (part of the phenolic acid family/antioxidants) which reduces oxidative stress and inflammation. Coffee also appears to increase insulin sensitivity which means a lowered risk for type 2 diabetes. This is also suspected to be due to Chlorogenic acid.

Don’t worry decaf drinkers. Chlorogenic acid is in your brew too.

Parkinson’s Disease
Coffee has been extensively studied for its possible role in reducing the risk of Parkinson’s Disease. Although it’s not conclusive, many studies have shown very impressive results.  For example, a study of 29,335 people in Finland found that drinking 1+ cups of coffee daily decreased the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 60% (Hu G, et al 2007). Caffeine is suspected to be the link here since tea appears to have similar effects.

Liver Cancer and Cirrhosis
The risk of liver cancer and cirrhosis may be reduced by drinking two cups of coffee a day. A 17 year study of over 51,000 people showed that coffee drinkers had a 40% lowered risk of death from Cirrhosis (Tverdal A, Skurtveit S. 2003).  An analysis of nine separate studies from 2002-2007 involving over 240,000 people stated “Overall, an increase in consumption of 2 cups of coffee per day was associated with a 43% reduced risk of liver cancer” (Larsson SC, Wolk A. 2007).

Possible Health Risks
Now let’s address health risks associated with coffee. Some studies have linked an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in people who drink 5+ cups a day.  Interestingly, other studies have found no increased risk.  One even pointed out that the risk dramatically lowered once their population switched from boiled coffee to filtered coffee. (Tverdal A , et al 1990). Although the jury is out on this, it’s something to be aware of.

And while on the subject, there are studies linking high LDL cholesterol levels with drinking unfiltered, boiled coffee. Coffee has cholesterol-raising ingredients called “cafestol and kahweol”. These are two volatile compounds that get removed by paper filters.  This makes sense since there was little-to-no risk of higher LDL levels caused by drinking filtered coffee.

In reading a few of these studies focused on heart health, I would say the biggest risk was the quantity of coffee people drank, 5 cups or more being risky. So just be aware of how much coffee you drink.

Punchline
Now don’t go out and pound 6 cups of poor quality brew every day. Think moderation and quality. Drinking 1-2 cups of high quality coffee that’s been filtered or cold-brewed (but not boiled) appears to be the magic amount noted in these studies. If you’re a decaf warrior, shoot for naturally decaffeinated beans (for ex. not using methylene chloride to remove caffeine).

Black Rifle Coffee
As a fellow coffee aficionado, I have been literally obsessed with quality coffee for years. Bad coffee just makes me angry.  But aromatic, smooth high-quality coffee just makes the world more tolerable.

Black Rifle Coffee Company is American made, Veteran owned and all around patriotic. They’re also on a personal quest to have the best coffee out there, from farm to cup.  By establishing direct relationships with farmers to seeking out the perfect bean for each roast to making sure your coffee is freshly roasted right before shipping, there is no doubt this company is obsessed with an excellent brew.

And they have offered LawOfficer.com readers a very generous discount code that you can use on their entire site (even the coffee club!). Have you seen their cool coffee mugs? Go to www.blackriflecoffee.com and use:  onpointbrcc (all lowercase)

Five-Oh Coffee
Also, don’t forget our friends at www.fiveohcoffeeco.com, owned by three cops who are also military veterans.  They only sell high-quality, freshly roasted beans in small batches and they offer a discount to our audience as well.  Just type in ‘LAWOFFICER’ at checkout to get your 15% discount. Let’s support both of these companies and keep our money in our tribe.



References

  1. ”Coffee – Professional Monograph”. Naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. N.p., 2017.
  2. Pourshahidi, L. K., Navarini, L., Petracco, M., & Strain, J. (2016, April 13). A Comprehensive Overview of the Risks and Benefits of Coffee Consumption. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1541-4337.12206/full
  3. Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2012.
  4. van Dam RM, Hu FB. Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. JAMA. 2005;294(1):97-104
  5. Ascherio A, Weisskopf MG, O’Reilly EJ, et al. Coffee consumption, gender, and Parkinson’s disease mortality in the cancer prevention study II cohort: the modifying effects of estrogen. Am J Epidemiol. 2004;160(10):977-984.
  6. Ascherio A, Zhang SM, Hernan MA, et al. Prospective study of caffeine consumption and risk of Parkinson’s disease in men and women. Ann Neurol. 2001;50(1):56-63.
  7. Ross GW, Abbott RD, Petrovitch H, et al. Association of coffee and caffeine intake with the risk of Parkinson disease. JAMA. 2000;283(20):2674-2679
  8. Hu G, Bidel S, Jousilahti P, Antikainen R, Tuomilehto J. Coffee and tea consumption and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Mov Disord. 2007;22(15):2242-2248.
  9. Larsson SC, Wolk A. Coffee consumption and risk of liver cancer: a meta-analysis. Gastroenterology. 2007;132(5):1740-5.
  10. Tverdal A, Skurtveit S. Coffee intake and mortality from liver cirrhosis. Ann Epidemiol. 2003;13(6):419-423
  11. Kawachi I, Colditz GA, Stone CB. Does coffee drinking increase the risk of coronary heart disease? Results from a meta-analysis. Br Heart J. 1994;72(3):269-275.
  12. Myers MG, Basinski A. Coffee and coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(9):1767-1772.
  13. Tverdal A, Stensvold I, Solvoll K, Foss OP, Lund-Larsen P, Bjartveit K. Coffee consumption and death from coronary heart disease in middle aged Norwegian men and women. BMJ. 1990;300(6724):566-569.
  14. Urgert R, Katan MB. The cholesterol-raising factor from coffee beans. Annu Rev Nutr. 1997;17:305-324.

About The Author

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Janine Henkel is insanely passionate about nutrition and is #1 fan of Police Officers. After almost 20 years in Law Enforcement and lecturing her co-workers about their eating habits, she retired and founded OnPointNutrition.Org, a nutrition consulting business designed with First Responders in mind. Janine holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition, is a Certified Personal Trainer and U.S. Marine Veteran. You can usually find Janine geeking out on technical books. Or enjoying the outdoors with her 5 year old son while trying to pull off the ‘cowboy hat with vibrams' look.

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