Coffee May Help Maintain Good Health

If you can’t get through your day without a coffee break or two, here’s good news for you: What scientists know so far suggests coffee may help you healthy. As usual with medical research, the operative word is “may.”

In general, regular coffee drinkers won’t be discouraged from continuing the habit, although there are exceptions. More is known about the overall association between coffee and positive health effects than about the mechanism behind it, said Dr. Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Antioxidants are one potential reason that good outcomes are seen from coffee. Caffeine itself may also contribute to coffee’s positive effects on brain health. Coffee also appears to lower levels of insulin and estrogen. Insulin also plays a role in prostate cancer, another disease coffee may help stave off.  Increased coffee consumption also is associated with longer life, according to Research in the New England Journal of Medicine. Again, no one knows what about coffee would make people live longer, but Ascherio theorizes it could be the protection against type II diabetes, Parkinson’s, depression and suicidal tendencies.


As common sense might suggest, the greatest overall benefits appear to be in people who drink coffee at moderate levels: two to three cups a day. But there are exceptions: A May 2011 study found that men who drink six or more cups a day had a decreased risk of fatal prostate cancer.

Doctors may never consider coffee a standard recommendation because of individuals’ varying susceptibility to side effects. Those include headaches, insomnia, heartburn and palpitations, not to mention urinary urgency. People who get fast heartbeats may need to steer clear of caffeinated coffee, too. Others don’t drink coffee because it irritates their stomachs. While all the evidence taken together suggests benefits from coffee, the burden of proof still isn’t quite strong enough, because these are associations, not a demonstration that coffee causes anything.

How often do you drink coffee? Do you think it is good or bad for your health? Share your java likes and gripes with us!

Source: CNN

Image: Dreamer

Avoiding Diabetes? Try Weight Training!

Weight training helps to prevent type 2 diabetes in men, research suggests. Researchers found regular weights reduced the risk by up to a third, in the study of more than 32,000 men published in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal.

It is already well known that regular exercise can prevent the disease. But the is considered important as weights provides an alternative to aerobic exercises such as running for people who are not so mobile.

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health in the US and the University of Southern Denmark followed the men over an 18-year period, during which time nearly 2,300 developed the condition.


They found 30 minutes of weights a day, five times a week could reduce the risk of diabetes by 34%. But they also reported that even less regular exercise – up to an hour a week – had an impact, cutting the risk by 12%. Nonetheless, aerobic exercise was still found to be slightly better with regular activity halving the risk. The two combined had the greatest effect, reducing it by up to 59%, the study found.

It is not clear if the same results would be found with women.

Are you willing to commit to regular weight training if it means reducing your diabetes risk effectively? Or would you rather opt for some aerobic exercises? Tell us how you maintain a healthy lifestyle!

Source: BBC News

Image: Steady Health