Thursday, February 18, 2021

Coffee Gets a Boost


Coffee used to be blamed for everything from high blood pressure and high cholesterol (and thus heart disease) to pancreatic cancer, fibro-cystic breasts, and bone loss. But, better studies in more recent years have almost always refuted the older findings and have even suggested that this beloved beverage may have health benefits, including reduced risk of melanoma, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, liver disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline. 

Still, the findings are not robust enough to recommend that you start drinking coffee, but if you do already, science appears to back your habit. Here are the results of two observational studies from 2020 suggesting beneficial effects of your cup a joe—and one showing a quirkier consequence.

Less body fat. 

Women who regularly drink coffee have less total body and abdominal fat than their coffee- abstaining counterparts. The more coffee the women consumed, including decaf, the greater the effect, as seen on body scans. As has been the case in prior studies, no dose-response relationship was observed in men, possibly for reasons relating to differences in sex hormones, the researchers speculated.

Better heart health and longevity— especially when a filter is used in brewing. A 20-year study linked coffee consumption to overall reduced mortality, compared to abstaining. But, those who drank filtered coffee (one to four cups a day) had the lowest risk of premature death, including from cardiovascular disease. Brewing methods in which ground coffee comes in direct contact with hot water—such as French press or espresso—leave behind higher concentrations of diterpene compounds (kahweol and cafestol) that raise blood cholesterol, whereas a filter traps them, which could partly explain the better results seen in those drinking filtered coffee.

From: Aviation Medical

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