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Drinking Coffee Regularly Reduces Disease Risks

BY: James Baran
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Habitual consumption of coffee has been shown to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, according to experts at Session 253 “Emerging health benefits of coffee: Recent advances in epidemiologic and experimental knowledge” on Tuesday morning, July 20.

Frank Hu, Harvard Medical School, noted that coffee contains caffeine, numerous bioactive compounds, chlorogenic acid, minerals, and antioxidants, which may help explain coffee’s health-promoting properties. Hu referred to several studies that suggested that coffee consumption is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Others studies indicate that coffee consumption does not increase the risk of stroke or mortality.

Joan LindsayJoan Lindsay, Univ. of Ottawa, discussed coffee consumption and brain function, health, and disease. Studies suggest that lifetime consumption of coffee in women was associated with higher cognitive function, better memory, and less cognitive decline with aging. However, there were no beneficial effects observed in men. A large Finnish study of men and women with a 21-year follow-up found that drinking 3–5 cups of coffee per day reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 65%. The Canadian Study of Health and Aging with a 10-year follow-up found that regular coffee consumption over 50 years resulted in about a 28% reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Cognitive decline was seen less in coffee drinkers. The health benefits of coffee on the brain may be due to caffeine, antioxidants, as well as overall vascular wellbeing.

YiFang Chu, Kraft Foods Global Inc., presented research on how coffee may protect against oxidative stress and protect primary neurons in the brain. He also compared the antioxidants levels in green versus roasted coffees.

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