The surprising health benefits of coffee

Jan. 11, 2018

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Coffee, java, joe — whatever you call it, coffee is a daily staple for millions of people.

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A 2013 survey reportedly found that Americans collectively drink an average of 587 million cups of coffee per day.

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But did you know that in addition to being enormously popular, coffee is thought to have some surprising health benefits?

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According to a Harvard Health Publishing blog post by Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, a faculty editor, there are many possible upsides to moderate coffee consumption.

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Studies have shown that people who drink coffee may have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis and Parkinson’s disease.

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A 2015 study found that coffee consumption was linked to an 8% to 15% reduction in drinkers’ overall risk of death.

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Though not mentioned in Shmerling's post, a 2017 study found that two cups a day was associated with a decreased risk of liver cancer.

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There are some side effects to drinking coffee, according to Shmerling, including a “jittery” feeling from the caffeine, heartburn and frequent urination.

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And we don’t know for sure which properties of coffee might cause the potential health benefits, Shmerling wrote.

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But if you’re already a moderate coffee drinker, take comfort in the idea that you just might be doing your body a favor.

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