A couple years ago I’d had it up to here with the constant stream of pseudo-scientific disinformation coming out of the camp of one or another self-proclaimed “nutritionist” who had clearly made it a cause célèbre to give coffee a bad rap. And so I researched and wrote a fairly exhaustive (hey, it exhausted *me* at the time) article — The Facts: Coffee, Caffeine, Nutrition and Health.
Two years on and now The New York Times is taking up the cause — and on the reasonable side of the matter. Good on them.
Several good studies have linked regular coffee consumption to a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and, in men and in women who have not taken postmenopausal hormones, Parkinson’s disease.
Most studies have not linked a high intake of either coffee or caffeine to heart disease, even though caffeinated coffee raises blood pressure somewhat and boiled unfiltered coffee (French-pressed and espresso) raises harmful LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Caffeine itself is not thought to be a problem for health or water balance in the body, up to 400 milligrams a day (the amount in about 30 ounces of brewed coffee). But pregnant women should limit their intake because more than 300 milligrams a day might increase the risk of miscarriage and low birth weight, the panel said.
Mice prone to an Alzheimer’s-like disease were protected by drinking water spiked with caffeine equivalent to what people get from five cups of coffee a day. And a study of more than 600 men suggested that drinking three cups of coffee a day protects against age-related memory and thinking deficits.
Now that they’ve cleared that up, I understand there’s a little dust-up over at the Justice Department they might want to have a look at…