Apr 132014
 
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It is one of the most consumed beverages and for many people, beginning the day without it seems impossible. Coffee is omnipresent in our society, but is the consumption of coffee good for us?
Well, for a beverage this popular you bet someone has already looked into this – but the results seem to be quite unclear.

Coffee (picture downloaded from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/06/Latte_art.jpg)

On the plus side we have lower risk of getting typ II diabetes, reduced risk of stroke (for women), reduced risk of dying from cardio vascular diseases and a general tendency to weight loss. Coffee is one of the main sources for antioxidants, which decrease oxidative stress and caffeine is linked to a reduced risk of getting Parkinson’s disease. In men one cup a day cuts the risk of this neurodegenerative disorder in half.

On the other hand however we have elevated cholesterol levels, short-term elevated blood pressure and contaminants from the roasting process like acrylamide and furan (which were both linked to genotoxicity). During pregnancy, the coffee consumtion should be kept under 3 cups per day and if you consume more then 5 cups a day you even have an elevated risk of dying from cardio vascular diseases.

All in all, it seems that with moderate coffee consumption, the beneficial effects outweigh the negative ones, but coffee is a very complex mixture of over 1000 chemical components and we are not even close to identifying how all these components influence our body.

– David Huesmann

 

Read more:
Richling, E. and Habermeyer, M., Chemie in unserer Zeit, 2014, 48, 12–20.
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/coffee/
http://www.coffeeandhealth.org

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