"Cup of joe" found to have more health benefits

According to a new study drinking coffee may offer protection from type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

These latest findings also suggest that the antioxidants present in coffee can also lower the risk of heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver.

Coffee contains hundreds of components including substantial amounts of chlorogenic acid, caffeine, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B3, trigonelline and lignans.

Chlorogenic acid has been shown in animal experiments to reduce glucose concentrations; coffee also contains tannin, which is beneficial for heart and arteries.

Researcher Dr. Rob van Dam of the Harvard School of Public Health, says that coffee, if taken in moderate amounts, can actually prevent colon, liver and rectal cancer.

Other experts also believe that coffee reduces the amount of cholesterol, bile acid and natural sterol secretion in the colon which accelerates the passage of stools through the colon and cuts down the exposure of the lining of the intestine to potential carcinogens in food.

Recent research in Norway has found that people who drank four to six cups of coffee a day had a 28 percent reduced risk compared with people who drank two or fewer.

They also found that women who drank one to three cups a day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 24 percent compared with those drinking no coffee at all.

It is also suggested that coffee contains more antioxidants than a serving of grape juice, blueberries, raspberries and oranges.

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and experts say the volume of scientific evidence suggests that moderate coffee consumption may halve the risk of certain disease conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, kidney stones, gallstones, depression and even suicide.

In other research Dr. Lenore Arab, a nutritional epidemiologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, reviewed the latest epidemiologic literature on cancers and coffee.

Dr. Arab found almost 400 studies on the association between coffee consumption and cancers at various sites.

Dr. Arab says the evidence suggests there are two areas where there is some evidence of increased risk: leukemia and stomach cancer.

Experts do however warn that excess coffee intake is also linked to increased nervousness, rapid heartbeat and trembling hands.

Future research may well lead to the development or selection of coffee types with improved health effects.

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