coffee benefits

  1. Coffee can lower colorectal risk

    Coffee can fight colon cancer... maybe

    Good news, coffee lovers -- your drink of choice can help reduce the risk of colorectal cancers.

    Ready for the bad news? You need to drink a LOT of this stuff to get the benefits.

    A new look at data on roughly half a million people finds that four cups of coffee a day can cut the risk of colorectal cancers by about 15 percent, while six cups or more can slash the risk by nearly a quarter.

    There were smaller benefits for decaf, and no benefits at all for tea drinkers, according to the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    There's nothing wrong with a moderate coffee habit, and it seems clear from a number of studies that it can in fact have a few health benefits. But six cups a day? Sounds like a lot of coffee to me -- and a lot of coffee can come with problems as well.

    The biggest problem, of course, is from all that caffeine. Coffee is loaded with the stuff, of course, and too much of it can cause problems in some people, including heart palpitations, high blood pressure, anxiety, and nerve conditions -- especially in people who are sensitive to it.

    Besides, there are much better ways to ensure you don't suffer from colorectal cancers.

    Start with eating better, since fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk of the disease while processed foods can increase that risk.

    Then, make sure you get scoped. If you're past the age of 50 and haven't had a colonoscopy yet, don't be shy -- make that call today and schedule yours.

    We'll need more research before anyone can say for sure whether coffee really can help keep colorectal cancers away. But we don't need more studies to know that colonoscopies really can save your life.

  2. Coffee, tea and heart health

    Love your morning cup? It's loving you right back, because a new study finds that people who drink the most coffee and tea enjoy some terrific heart benefits.

    In fact, coffee and tea drinkers are much less likely to suffer from heart disease than those who don't drink either.

    The 13-year study of more than 37,000 people in the Netherlands was the largest of its kind, and it found that tea offered the biggest heart boost: Those who drank between three and six cups per day enjoyed a 45 percent lower risk of death from heart disease than those who drank less than one cup a day.

    Those who drank more than six cups a day had a 36 percent lower risk of heart disease.

    And if you prefer java, the study in the Journal of the American Heart Association has some good news for you, too: Drinking between two and four cups of coffee a day can lower your risk of heart disease by up to 20 percent.

    Forget love at first sight--this one is love at fourth cup.

    Even better, drinking coffee and tea was all gain and no pain. The researchers say those who drank these delicious beverages had no increased risk of other diseases or premature death--just terrific heart benefits.

    There's a lot of good news in this study--but one thing that's missing from it is the element of surprise, because coffee and tea have been linked to heart health before. Coffee and tea also share something else, and not just a big, warm mug: They can lower your risk of diabetes.

    Coffee may also lower your risk of prostate cancer, Parkinson's disease, liver disorders, skin cancer and gallstones. One study even found that coffee drinkers have fewer cavities.

    But if you'd rather sip tea than coffee, don't worry-- you'll get your share of benefits, too. Polyphenol-rich green tea has been linked to everything from cardiovascular health and cancer prevention to longer lives.

    Now that's something worth filling your mug for.

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