The New Coffee Claims
Some of these new coffee claims are saying that coffee provides a world of benefits to you. Claims include that coffee prevents a wide range of diseases and cancers, that it will make you live longer, and many more crazy things. So, is it true that your morning cup of joe will do more for you than give you the kick you needed in the morning? Let us look at the science behind it all!
What’s in Your Average Cup of Coffee?
Inside of an 8 ounce cup of black coffee you find:
- About 100 milligrams caffeine
- 2.4 calories
- 0 grams fat
- 0 grams sugar
- 0.3 grams protein
- 0.2 milligrams vitamin B2 riboflavin (11 % DV)
- 0.6 milligrams pantothenic acid (6 % DV)
- 116 milligrams potassium (3 % DV)
- 0.1 milligrams manganese (3 % DV)
- 7.1 milligrams magnesium (2 % DV)
- 0.5 milligrams niacin (2 % DV)
If you make that into a Starbucks cup of coffee, the 8 ounce portion has, on average, about 200 mg of caffeine. Reports say that 89 % of the adults in the United States population consume caffeine. We don’t need proof to assume that coffee claims a majority of the caffeine market for adults.
What The Coffee Claims Have Right
Coffee has a lot of benefits when looking at it from the chemical point of view. Coffee has tons of antioxidants that are very beneficial to us. Long story short, these antioxidants fend of free radicals, which are chemicals inside of our body that give us disease like it is their job. The antioxidants in coffee are very helpful when it comes to fighting off diseases and cancers like:
- Cardiovascular Disease – coffee has a great way of balancing our cholesterol by using a special group of antioxidants called diterpene compounds.
- Retention of Memory – mice studies have shown a significant difference in memory retention between mice given caffeine in their water from birth vs. mice not given caffeine in their water.
- Cirrhosis and Liver Health – coffee has been linked to helping prevent the buildup of liver enzymes, especially those produced by alcohol consumption. This means that it would likely reduce the likelihood of cirrhosis of the liver.
- Cancers – this is the big one. There is no significant study yet to whether or not coffee biologically has anything to do with the prevention of cancer, though it does have the potential to slow tumors and promote diseased cell death. Studies have shown correlation between coffee and lower levels of cancer.
- Length of telomeres – remember those things in biology that control how long we live, those are telomeres! As we age, our telomeres get shorter and shorter. Coffee has shown the potential to slow down the shortening of our telomeres! These studies are in the alpha-stage, and have no significant findings yet, but it is entirely plausible that coffee could lengthen our lives.
What the Coffee Claims Leave Out
There are so many upsides to coffee, but do they outweigh the downsides? The answer to that question is yes. The downsides of coffee are:
- It can be toxic – there is a toxin found in coffee called Ochratoxin A. It is perfectly manageable in small amounts, but the U.S. has no limits on it. Low level coffee may contain a higher amount of this toxin.
- Coffee causes insomnia – this one should be relatively obvious. The high levels of caffeine in coffee can lead to bouts of insomnia, as the stimulation in your blood keeps you awake. Just try not to drink any after 5 P.M. or you might be up all night!
- Coffee can cause complications with pregnancy – this has been known for a while. If you are pregnant and absolutely need that coffee fix, try to keep it to one cup a day to keep that baby as healthy as possible!
- Coffee can negatively affect those with high cholesterol – some of the antioxidants in coffee have been known to raise LDL levels of coffee, which are connected to high levels of cholesterol.
- Caffeine intake increases blood glucose levels and blood pressure – these two effects of coffee are only while coffee is in your bloodstream, but repeatedly consuming coffee can have a negative effect on both long term. No significance has come to these claims yet.
What should you make about all of the coffee claims?
As I sit here and type this post, my cup of coffee sits next to me, and every few sentences I take a drink. Coffee is a big part of my morning routine, as well as millions of other Americans’. Coffee has some good health benefits, and some bad health benefits. The amount of stuff that I get done while I am under the influence of coffee is enough of a positive for me to overlook the negatives of it.
These coffee claims have been around for years, but with the new studies are at an all time peak in the news. Coffee is a huge part of today’s society, and I don’t think that will change for a very long time, if ever. So, enjoy yourself a nice cup of coffee today. You will get to know that you may be prolonging your life, and potentially preventing some disease down the road.
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