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Java, Joe, Cuppa, Coffee--whatever you call your morning brew, science has just given you another reason to sip.
On Monday, two brand new coffee studies broke which found a direct correlation between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of suffering from a host of ills, including heart disease, stroke and liver disease. Study data also revealed that coffee drinkers had better biological markers, such as liver enzymes and glucose control, which can indicate underlying diseases.
The first study, which included over 520,000 people in 10 European countries, making it the largest study to date on coffee and mortality, found that drinking more coffee could significantly lower a person's risk of mortality.
During the study (which went on for 16 years), scientists observed that men who drank three or more cups of coffee daily reduced their risk of death by 18 percent, compared to non-drinkers. For women, the risk of death was slashed by 8 percent. Coffee drinkers also tended to have lower levels of inflammation, healthier lipid profiles and better glucose control compared with those who weren't.
The second study, which focused on more than 185,000 Americans, found that over the same timeframe, drinking one cup of coffee a day lowered the risk of death by 12 percent. Two or three cups lowered the risk by 18 percent. The findings applied to smokers and non-smokers.
More good news: Java’s health benefits are said to hold true whether you get your jump from an espresso, latte, or even decaffeinated coffee, according to all research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine--and the benefits are increased with each cup drunk.
What’s so special about this beverage? Past research has revealed that coffee may naturally possess potent compounds—ingredients that have powerful neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties.
That said, researchers of both studies say it's still unclear which particular compounds in coffee provided the health benefits.
What is clear: the way you fix your cup can be key. So, before you start gulping, take note: “Black coffee is one thing but weighing down your cup with fat and calorie-laden extras like syrups, sugars and heavy creamers isn’t ideal since it can trigger weight gain and uneven blood sugar, spurring additional health issues,” explains Matthew Grieser, clinical dietician at Indiana University Health. “So, it's best to drink coffee moderately and keep these things in check.”
While experts have battled back and forth about the benefits of coffee for years, these studies stand as the largest bodies of research to date--inspiring coffee drinkers across the globe to smile.
-- By Sarah Burns