Drinking a moderate amount of coffee isn't just safe, it can provide a huge range of fantastic health benefits.
Coffee is one of the world’s most important crops, and is consumed by millions of people worldwide every day. As we reported earlier, a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology has shown that drinking a moderate amount of coffee during pregnancy posed no credible health risks to the mother or the child.
People drink coffee primarily because of its main ingredient, caffeine, which mimics the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine is one of the chemicals that creates the feeling of tiredness, and sends this signal to the brain when it attaches to the A1 receptor. Caffeine binds to the A1 receptor in the place of adenosine, preventing its buildup and the subsequent feeling of sleepiness.
Drinking coffee has a number of health benefits that can make the body more efficient and less susceptible to disease. A separate study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who drank four cups of coffee each day were 16 percent less likely to die from any cause. Additionally, it found that people who consumed up to three cups each day had a 21 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Coffee has also been linked to lower risk of certain cancers. A study carried out by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center suggests that drinking four or more cups of coffee each day reduced men’s risk of prostate cancer by up to 59 percent. Researchers believe that the antioxidants and polyphenols in coffee are largely responsible for keeping degenerative diseases at bay.
Coffee can help you lose weight, stay sharp, headache-free, and even reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Scientists at Harvard found that people who decreased their risk of coffee consumption were at a 17 percent higher risk of developing diabetes.
Considering the relative harmlessness of caffeine as a daily jolt of energy and the plethora of health benefits associated with the bean, it’s a great relief that expecting mothers need not deprive themselves of the pleasure of a good cup of joe. A press release from Nationwide Children’s Hospital outlining the details of the study can be found here.