I enjoy drinking coffee and was often see links to studies on paleo blogs about how it does a multitude of great things. However, when I follow the links the studies all point to OBSERVATIONAL studies. I've been following Tom Naughton and am reading Bad Science right now and so know that these studies really don't tell me anything reliable here.
Interesting to see that studies against showing issues with paleo are scrutinised to the hilt whereas perhaps those supporting it: not so much.
I'd love to believe it's beneficial for us, but would like to see the data to back it up. Anyone know of any good clinical studies regarding this?
Here is a good review: http://primalmd.tumblr.com/post/6397186790/evidence-based-practice-coffee
The Wikipedia page on the health effects of coffee is a good place to start as it has quite a number of links to research studies.
The number of clinical studies on coffee are rather few in number. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the potential risks and benefits of coffee consumption only appear over the course of many years. Clinical studies are usually short in duration due to their costs.
This is currently my favorite coffee related study:
The impact of a moderate consumption of an instant coffee on the general composition of the human intestinal bacterial population was assessed in this study. Sixteen (16) healthy adult volunteers consumed a daily dose of 3 cups of coffee during 3 weeks
Our results show that the consumption of the coffee preparation resulting from water co-extraction of green and roasted coffee beans produce an increase in the metabolic activity and/or numbers of the Bifidobacterium spp. population, a bacterial group of reputed beneficial effects, without major impact on the dominant microbiota.
So drink coffee to feed your "friendly bacteria" :)
*The study was funded by Nestle who produce a lot of instant coffee.
Here's a study linking iron malabsorption to coffee. I would assume that it is due to the phytic acid content and would also apply to other minerals.
You could check out this Ray Peat article in caffeine/coffee, Ray sites a ton of sources at the end of his document: http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/caffeine.shtml
He likes the fact that it lowers absorption of Iron. (See his article on the dangers of Iron).
From ABC News:
"The research, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, examined data from the Nurses' Health Study, one of the largest and longest-running investigations of factors that influence women's health. Out of the more than 67,000 women enrolled in the study, researchers found that women who drank more than four cups of coffee per day were linked to a 25 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer. Women who drank two to three cups per day reduced that risk by 7 percent."
Observational, to be sure, but dammit I like coffee and I like to find anything that justifies drinking tons of it.
Remember to look at what type of coffee they are using. Coffee isn't coffee isn't coffee. There's a difference in coffee quality that likely will correlate to a difference in health outcomes. Perhaps, good quality artisan, fresh roasted coffee will be better for you or perhaps, it will be worse. Just another variable to consider.
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