Like so many other things, mainstream medicine was completely wrong about coffee.
Cardiologists traditionally advised heart patients not to drink coffee. They assumed the stimulant effect could lead to an irregular heartbeat. Then a 2014 study found that coffee drinking actually protects against atrial fibrillation.1 2
We were also warned that coffee increases cancer risk. A 1991 World Health Organization report listed coffee as “possibly carcinogenic.” But the WHO recently reversed that stance. Not only does it no longer consider coffee a carcinogen, it says it protects against liver and uterine cancer.3
And now, two major new studies show that coffee may be one of the healthiest things you can put in your body.
Researchers concluded that coffee extends lifespan and reduces your odds of developing six major diseases.4
Why You Should Drink 2 Cups of Coffee a Day
In one study, researchers at Imperial College’s School of Public Health in the UK surveyed the coffee drinking habits of more than 500,000 people in 10 European countries.
They found that people who drank more than two cups of coffee daily were up to 18% less likely to die over a 16-year period. Coffee drinkers showed lower levels of inflammation, healthier lipid profiles, and better glucose control.
The second study was performed at the USC Keck School of Medicine. It explored coffee’s effects on people of different ethnic backgrounds.
USC scientists collected data on more than 185,000 Americans of all races. They found that coffee was beneficial to people of every ancestry. And the health rewards do not differ much by race.
They concluded that coffee drinking reduces your chances of heart disease, cancer, respiratory illness, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease.
Both studies were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Veronica Wendy Setiawan is an associate professor of preventative medicine at Keck School of Medicine. She led the USC study.
Dr. Setiawan said her research shows that coffee is beneficial no matter your race, age, gender, lifestyle, or health status.
“Given these very diverse populations, all these people have different lifestyles. They have very different dietary habits and different susceptibilities—and we still find similar patterns,” she said.
Coffee even helps smokers overcome some of the risks of their habit, the studies showed. It lowers their chances of cancer, as well as heart and respiratory diseases.5
Hidden Health Booster in Coffee
Researchers don’t know exactly how coffee boosts health. But they theorize it has to do with its high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
One of coffee’s most potent components is chlorogenic acid. It’s a powerful phytochemical that reduces inflammation and controls blood sugar levels.6
We recently told you about research showing that light roasted coffee has more chlorogenic acid than dark roasts.
And you can make your coffee even healthier by using an espresso maker, which extracts more of the beneficial compounds.
One more thing… It’s best to skip the decaf. Research shows it does not provide the same benefits as caffeinated coffee. This is likely because some of the antioxidants are stripped out in the decaffeinating process.7