Multitudes of people worldwide begin each day with a cup of steaming hot coffee. Although it is sometimes referred to as "the devil's brew," coffee contains several nutrients (eg, calcium) as well as hundreds of potentially biologically active compounds (eg, polyphenols) that may promote health.
For instance, observational studies have suggested a beneficial link between coffee consumption and type 2 diabetes. Determining whether or not this association is causative, however, requires controlled intervention trials. Two articles published in the April 2010 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition report results of 2 studies conducted to lend additional information concerning the potential health benefits of coffee. These studies provide additional support for the emerging health benefits of coffee. Rigorous clinical intervention trials will be needed to understand more fully the biological mechanisms.
The studies by Kempf and Sartorelli "add to a growing literature suggesting that my steaming cup of morning coffee might help me stay healthy," said ASN Spokesperson Shelley McGuire, PhD. "I'm a research scientist, but I still trust that foods and beverages which have been part of our culture for generations are probably good for us, or at least they're probably not bad for us in moderation! Of particular interest is the well-controlled clinical trial that suggests coffee can lower chronic inflammation and even raise our 'good' cholesterol. I for one will enjoy my coffee even more in the weeks to come."