Friday, May 8, 2009

Coffee has health benefits!

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-08-28-coffee-antioxidants_x.htm

Joe A. Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania and his research team analyzed the antioxidant content of more than 100 foods including vegetables, fruits, nuts, apices, oils and 3 beverages, cocoa, tea and coffee. They used Agriculture Department data on typical food consumption patterns to calculate how much antioxidant each food contributes to a person's diet. They were surprised to find that coffee provides more healthful antioxidants than any other food in the American diet.

They concluded that the average adult consumes 1,299 milligrams of antioxidants daily from coffee. The closest competitor was tea at 294 milligrams. Rounding out the top five sources were bananas, 76 milligrams; dry beans, 72 milligrams; and corn, 48 milligrams. According to the Agriculture Department, the typical adult American drinks 1.64 cups of coffee daily. Dates, cranberries and red grapes are among the leading fruit sources of antioxidants, he said. His findings were released in conjunction with the annual convention of the American Chemical Society in Washington.

The antioxidants in coffee are known as polyphenols. Sometimes they are bound to a sugar molecule, which covers up the antioxidant group, Vinson said. The first step in measuring them was to break that sugar link. He noted that chemicals in the stomach do the same thing, freeing the polyphenols.

Other researchers have found evidence that supports Vinson’s findings:

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, February 2008: Japanese researchers reported that drinking coffee daily or nearly every day cuts the rate of liver cancer in half compared to non-coffee drinkers.

The Harvard School of Public Health and the Annals of Internal Medicine, January 2004 reported that coffee drinkers had a decreased risk of diabetes II compared to non-coffee drinkers.

Source: “Java Joy in Coffee Study”, Associated Press Email: May 28, 1908

Coffee helps prevent nonmelanoma skin cancer
A new study shows that caffeine helps kill human cells damaged by ultraviolet light, one of the key triggers of several types of skin cancer. Several studies have shown that people who regularly drink coffee or tea have lower incidences of nonmelanoma skin cancers. One recent study of more than 90,000 Caucasian women found that with each additional cup of caffeinated coffee consumed, there was an associated 5 percent decreased risk of developing one of these skin cancers (decaf coffee had no effect).

This finding, detailed in Feb. 26 online issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, could one day lead to the development of caffeine creams or ointments to help reverse the effects of UV damage in humans and prevent some skin cancers.

Abstracted from article by Andrea Thompson, Thurs., Feb. 26, 2009
The new research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, a Harvard Skin Cancer SPORE Career Development Award, and Shiseido Corporation.
© 2009 LiveScience.com. All rights reserved.

References to other articles on the health effects of coffee:
To Your Health – April 2001 http://www.litalee.com/shopexd.asp?id=165
http://www.raypeat.com/, Caffeine – A Vitamin-Like Nutrient or Adaptogen http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml

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