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6 MORE REASONS TO DRINK COFFEE

LOWER THE RISK OF PARKINSON’S DISEASE

Parkinson’s Disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s.  It is caused by the death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain.  As with Alzheimer’s, there is no known cure, which makes focusing on prevention all the more important.  Studies have shown that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, with a reduction in risk ranging from 32-60%.  It appears that the caffeine itself is causing the effect.  People who drink decaf don not have a lower risk of Parkinson’s.

COFFEE MAY PROTECT THE LIVER

Your liver is an amazing organ that carries out hundreds of important functions in your body.  Several common diseases affecting the liver are hepatitis and fatty liver disease.  Many of these diseases can lead to a condition called cirrhosis, in which the liver is largely replaced by scar tissue.  Studies have found that coffee may protect the liver from cirrhosis.  People who drink 4 or more cups per day have up to an 80% lower risk of developing this disease.

COFFEE CAN FIGHT DEPRESSION AND MAKE YOU HAPPIER

Depression is a serious mental disorder that causes a significantly reduced quality of life.  In the U.S. about 4.1% of the population meet the criteria for clinical depression.  A Harvard study published in 2011 showed that women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed.  Another study done with 208,424 people found that those who drank 4 or more cups per day were 53% less likely to commit suicide.

LOWER THE RISK OF SOME TYPES OF CANCER

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and is characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells in the body.  Coffee appears to be protective against liver cancer and colorectal cancer.  Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world, while colorectal cancer ranks fourth.  Studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer.  One study involving 408,706 individuals found that those who drank 4-5 cups of coffee per day had a 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer.

COFFEE DOES NOT CAUSE HEART DISEASE AND MAY LOWER THE RISK OF STROKE

It is often claimed that coffee can increases blood pressure.  While this is true, the effect is small and usually goes away if you drink coffee on a regular basis.  However, the effect may persist in some people, so keep that in mind if you have elevated blood pressure.  Studies have not supported that coffee raises the risk of heart disease and there is some evidence that women who drink coffee have a reduced risk of heart disease.  Some studies also show that coffee drinkers have a 20% lower risk of stroke.

COFFEE MAY HELP YOU LIVE LONGER

Given that coffee drinkers are less likely to get many diseases, it makes sense that coffee would help you live longer.  There are actually several observational studies showing that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of death.  In two large studies, drinking coffee was associated with a 20% lower risk of death in men and a 26% lower risk of death in women, over a period of 18-24 years.