It’s been a while since my last coffee article.
Despite what conventional wisdom says, coffee may actually provide a range of health benefits.
Here are 5 deadly diseases that coffee may save you from, at least if the epidemiological studies mean anything.
Coffee and Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by insulin resistance, a relative insulin deficiency and elevated blood glucose levels.
Today, about 300 million people worldwide have type II diabetes and prevalence has increased about 10-fold within a few decades. Complications of this disease include cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.
Luckily for us, the epidemiology shows that coffee consumption may drastically reduce incidence of this disease.
A meta-analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2009 looked at 18 different studies with 457.922 participants that examined the association of coffee consumption and diabetes.
According to the analysis, each additional cup of coffee per day reduced risk of developing type II diabetes by 7% (1).
Coffee and Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia worldwide. Currently about 30 million people in the world have Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are a few lifestyle factors known to reduce risk of developing the disease later in life.
One of the most powerful lifestyle factors it seems, is drinking coffee.
Coffee and Liver Cancer
Liver cancer is a malignant type of cancer that originates in the liver. Globally, liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death.
Drinking coffee may drastically reduce risk of developing liver cancer.
A meta-analysis published in the journal Gastroenterology in 2007 discovered that consumption of 2 cups of coffee per day lowered the risk of liver cancer by 43% (8).
Coffee and Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is another common neurodegenerative disease caused by the death of dopamine producing neurons in a certain area of the brain.
It affects about 0.3% of the population in industrialized countries and is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s.
A meta-analysis that pooled data from 26 studies was published in 2010 and examined the relationship between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease.
They found a linear inverse relationship, with 300mg of caffeine per day lowering the risk of Parkinson’s by 24% (9).
Coffee and Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death and kills about a half million people per year.
A meta-analysis measured the association of coffee and colon cancer and revealed a risk reduction of 24% for coffee drinkers (13).
Correlation Does Not Equal Causation
The epidemiological studies don’t prove anything, but the available evidence seems to point out that coffee isn’t the villain it has been made out to be.
There are a few ways to make sure that your coffee remains healthy, such as not loading it with sugar or artificial chemicals.