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Published on: May 18, 2012
by Jackie Silver for Style Goes Strong:
Have you heard the latest news about coffee health benefits? I’ve been telling people for years that unless their doctor tells them otherwise, they should thoroughly enjoy their morning cup – or three – of java because it could be good for the brain.
Now, a new study reported online in the well-respected publication, The New England Journal of Medicine, reveals that frequent coffee drinkers have a lower risk of dying from many diseases compared with people who only drink some coffee or none at all.
Drinking two to three cups a day lowered the overall risk of death 10%, says the study, funded by the National Cancer Institute and AARP.
Neal Freedman, the study’s lead author, cautions, “We wouldn’t recommend that anyone go out and drink coffee based on these results,” but he says his study could offer some “reassurance” that coffee didn’t seem to cut patients’ lives short.
WebMD.com also reports, “A growing body of research shows that coffee drinkers, compared to nondrinkers, are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and dementia, heart rhythm problems, strokes, and more.
“There is certainly much more good news than bad news, in terms of coffee and health,” says Frank Hu, MD, MPH, PhD, nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Coffee’s other big claim to fame is its brain benefits. Several studies suggest that a daily caffeine habit may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Your cup or two a day, though, probably isn’t enough. Researchers say 500 mg of caffeine, or about five cups of regular coffee, is the dose that seems to protect the brain and provide the coffee health benefits.
This may sound like an excessive amount of caffeine, but one researcher swears by it.
“I drink five to six cups a day religiously,” says Gary Arendash, a researcher at the Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, part of Florida State University. Arendash says he’s convinced that caffeine is protecting his brain.
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