Coffee Drinkers, Yes

From The Atlantic:

These days, coffee is practically a universal part of our modern workplace condition. Many of us harbor some secret fear that the gallons of brown liquid we’re slurping every day is doing us no good. We cling to scraps of evidence — like this one suggesting coffee contributes to your daily recommended fluid intake — showing that coffee in superhuman amounts is safe. And we pour ourselves another when a new study comes out implying the stuff can make us even healthier than we already are.

Lately, coffee addicts have been winning little victories every few weeks. This time, it’s a double win: a pair of studies suggesting that something about the drink may contain anti-aging and cancer-fighting properties….

The new results join a litany of fantastic recent findings in coffee research. Here’s a quick roundup: The National Institutes of Health made a splash in May this year when their research noted a relationshipbetween coffee consumption and a decreased risk for mortality:

Coffee-drinking men cut their risk for death by 12 percent after four to five cups of java, according to the study, which was led by the National Institutes of Health’s Neal Freedman. Women who drank the same amount had their the risk of death reduced by 16 percent.

The report sparked some confusion, too, as coffee drinkers were also puzzlingly more — yes, more — likely to die. The reason? Coffee drinkers are also generally smokers. How can coffee drinkers can be both more andless likely to die seems like an arithmetic mystery — but cut out smoking altogether, and the correlation between coffee and longer lives still stands. The lesson there may simply be to drink coffee and quit smoking.

We’ve also learned that coffee can protect your heart, reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer, and curbthe risk of fibrosis among those with fatty liver disease. The research even extends to the bustling, steamy shops from which we procure our daily java fix: studies show being surrounded by a moderate amount of noise can actually make you more creative.

With the evidence mounting in favor of coffee, it’s hard not to pump your fist and declare your daily four-shot latte justified. True enough, it’s worth remembering that most of these studies show correlations at best, and some of them don’t even involve humans. The case for coffee isn’t exactly slam-dunk for sure — but then again, science never is.

 

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Larry

    “The case for coffee isn’t exactly slam-dunk for sure — but then again, science never is.”

    RJS should comment on this! The latest pop-medical study should not serve as a stand-in for all of science in our thinking. Lots of science *is* slam-dunk!

  • Terry

    “…declare your daily four-shot latte justified.”

    I was doing okay until I read this, since I usually drink 2-4, four-shot (usually half-caf) Americanos a day. Do people really worry about a coffee-drink like that per day? I understand some being more sensitive to this and that (caffeine certainly being a this or that) but popular-level concern about a daily latte? Wow! I do live in the Pacific Northwest, but I still must not get out much. (And, not-so-secretly, I’m satisfied with the general conclusions put forth in the post.)

  • http://www.infinitelyhigher.com Brad

    Any study which lends itself favorable to coffee drinkers, is the only study that I can really bring myself to find credible on subject. I have no idea why.

  • http://LostCodex.com DRT

    I think coffee drinkers are most likely to jump in front of a car if startled.

  • Alan K

    When it comes to faith, I can’t stand apologetics. But I love love love coffee apologetics.

  • http://www.danwhitejr.blogspot.com Dan Jr.

    Want really good, organic, fair-trade coffee by a bivocational church planter in the city of Syracuse try Salt City Coffee http://www.saltcitycoffee.com/

  • phil_style

    here we go, pages and pages of peer reviewed research on coffee: http://www.sciencedaily.com/search/?keyword=coffee

    You never need to go to a “benefits of coffee” website, or a mainstream media report ever again!

  • RJS

    phil_style,

    Great link!

  • John Noname

    Coffee also helps control irritable bowel syndrome. After suffering with it for three years (my doctor had no cure), on a cross country road trip I started drinking coffee to stay awake, after having sworn off coffee for 20 years. The change was immediate. Three strong cups a day is the perfect cure.


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