Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Coffee More Healthy Than Fruit Juice?

According to a column at the New York Times, "a typical serving of coffee contains more antioxidants than typical servings of grape juice, blueberries, raspberries and oranges." The piece also explores how coffee consumption can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver.

In addition to antioxidants, coffee is packed with "phenols, volatile aroma compounds and oxazoles," reports the times. Note that caffeine isn't on the list of beneficial substances. In fact, people that drank decaffeinated coffee, in some studies, got the same benefit as people that drank regular.

The antioxidants in coffee seem to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as control cell damage. Both of these positives can protect against diabetes, heart disease and liver cancer.

However, in the Times piece, they point out that recent studies show caffeine appears to reduce blood flow to the heart. So coffee may not be the best choice for people with heart problems. "I wouldn’t advise people to increase their consumption of coffee in order to lower their risk of disease,” one doctor told the Times, “but the evidence is that for most people without specific conditions, coffee is not detrimental to health."

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.