I grew up to the lyrics ‘the best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup.’ And ‘Maxwell House Coffee, it’s good to the last drop.’ Mama let me have my first sugary, creamery jolting cup of bliss when I was 12. And I’m still at it. Except now-a-days, it’s one-quarter caf in a mug half-filled with organic soy milk and natural sweetener. Still, I vacillate between stopping coffee altogether, going caffeine-free, or keeping with the status quo.
As an RD, I turn to research to quell my wondering mind.
A meta-analysis is a researcher’s process that looks at multiple studies that had a similar hypothesis and they search for identifying patterns among the results of each study, any differences, similarities, and the methods used in the study to get the results.
Here’s what a recent meta-analysis uncovered:
- drinking 1-6 cups of coffee a day cut stroke risk by 17%
- coffee beans contain antioxidant compounds that may reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff)
- coffee is associated with increased insulin sensitivity (meaning less high blood sugar)
- coffee reduced concentrations of inflammatory markers – that lead to diseases like arthritis, heart disease, diabetes
- women who drink 2-3 cups of coffee per day have a 15% decreased risk for depression, compared with those who drink less than 1 cup per week. A 20% decreased risk was seen in those who drank 4 cups or more
As long as the caffeine content is low (mix your beans) and not taken in mid-afternoon or later, this is strong support for coffee. I’m about to get my bliss on! Or a tad of it at least.
Am J Epidemiol. 2011;174(9):993-1001. © 2011 Oxford University Press