Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Coffee is good for you (scientific proof)

Once again, my faith in science is vindicated--that is, if you wait long enough, it will eventually come up with the result you want. People are always trying to claim that coffee is bad for you.. On the contrary, it seems that drinking coffee can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease. (You should still eat fruits and vegetables, too. No problem.)

(I am now waiting for science to discover that a high-cholesterol diet is good for you, and that skim milk makes your teeth fall out.)

Long live science,
Jeff Weintraub


The Guardian
Monday, August 29, 2005

Coffee a good source of antioxidants

Patrick Barkham
Monday August 29, 2005
The Guardian

If your hand is trembling over your third coffee of the morning, do not despair. You could be getting more healthy antioxidants from your liquid fix than are from the fruit or vegetables you eat, according to a study of US diets.

Although dates, cranberries and red grapes were the richest source of antioxidants, researchers found these were not a common part of the average American's diet.

The scientists measured the antioxidant content of more than 100 different food items, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, oils and beverages, and then examined national data on the contribution of each food item to the average American's diet.

Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee emerged as the biggest source of antioxidants, given that Americans do not eat sufficient quantities of fruit and vegetables. Black tea came second, followed by bananas, dry beans and corn.

Helping to rid the body of free radicals, destructive molecules that damage cells and DNA, antioxidants have been linked to a number of benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancer.

The research is the latest in a number of studies to suggest coffee could be beneficial, with consumption linked to a reduced risk of liver and colon cancer, type two diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.

"Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source - nothing else comes close," said Joe Vinson from Scranton University in Pennsylvania, who led the research.

While coffee consumption in Britain is lower than in the US, it is estimated that 70m cups are drunk in the UK a day.

But Professor Vinson, who presented the findings at the American Chemical Society's meeting in Washington DC yesterday, advised drinkers to stick to one or two cups.

"Unfortunately, consumers are still not eating enough fruits and vegetables, which are better for you from an overall nutritional point of view due to their higher content of vitamins, minerals and fibre," he said.