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Depression, Diabetes, Dementia, Oh My! The Many Majestic Properties of Coffee

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A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has concluded that us female coffee chuggers have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than non-coffee drinkers.

Although this study is new and exciting, there’s a myriad of other health benefits that come from our favorite morning beverage:

1) Parkinson’s Disease: Harvard Medical researchers have concluded that coffee drinking can drastically lower risk for developing Parkinson’s. In fact, downing four cups a day could lower your risk by half. The protection is attributed to coffee’s increase of dopamine (a neurotransmitter that controls the brains reward and pleasure centers).

2) Dementia and Alzheimer’s: According to WedMd, “A 2009 study from Finland and Sweden showed that, out of 1,400 people followed for about 20 years, those who reported drinking 3-5 cups of coffee daily were 65% less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, compared with nondrinkers or occasional coffee drinkers.”

3) Heart Disease: Studies from Brooklyn College concluded that men who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee daily had a 53 percent lower risk of dying of heart disease than those who did not drink coffee at all. Another study found that individuals who consumed 1 to 3 cups of coffee a day were 20 percent less likely to be hospitalized for abnormal heart rhythms than non-drinkers.

4) Antioxidants: Antioxidants help fight free radicals that may cause cancer and other diseases. Coffee has a high antioxidant content and unless you’re very sensitive to caffeine, forget about the decaf as it may have 20 percent less antioxidants than the fully caffeinated stuff.

5) Increase Fitness: Have a longer workout with stronger endurance. The caffeine in your coffee will slightly increase your heart rate and breathing, amping up your workout enough for better performance and lasting endurance.

6) Liver: Although the reasons are not clear, studies have found a direct correlation between increased coffee consumption and decreased risk of both liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

7) Type II Diabetes: Many studies have been conducted about the consumption of coffee and a decreased risk of type II diabetes. According to WebMd, “Of more than 193,000 people, those who said they drank more than six or seven cups daily were 35% less likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who drank fewer than two cups daily.” Even those who drank four to six cups a day had a 28 percent lower risk than non-drinkers. Additionally, minerals magnesium and chromium found in coffee help control blood sugar.

8) Stroke: Type II diabetes is one risk factor for stroke. Therefore, a reduction in the risk (attributed to coffee consumption) ultimately correlates with a reduced risk for stroke. Additionally, one study found that women who drank two to three cups of coffee per day had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than those who did not drink it at all.

Some people are more sensitive to coffee than others so use caution. If you have heart problems or family with a history of heart problems, drinking coffee may not be the best idea, especially before a workout.

Otherwise, good morning coffee, hello great health!


Coffee Health Risks - Harvard Health Publications. (n.d.). Health Information and Medical Information - Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved September 27, 2011, from

Griffin, L. (2008, February 4). The Caffeine Advantage. Men's Health. Retrieved September 27, 2011, from

Osterweil, N. (n.d.). Health Benefits of Coffee - WebMD. WebMD - Better information. Better health.. Retrieved September 27, 2011, from http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/coffee-new-health-food

O'Connor, A. (2011, September 26). Coffee Drinking Linked to Less Depression in Women. The New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2011, from

Reviewed September 28, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Malu Banuelos

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.