Coffee is not the devil it has been made out to be.
Numerous studies are now showing that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of many serious diseases, some of which kill millions of people per year.
Most of these studies are observational in nature and can not prove that coffee caused these beneficial effects.
However, these studies do show that coffee is, at the very least, definitely not something to be feared.
Here are 6 graphs that will convince you that drinking coffee is a good idea.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugars in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to secrete insulin.
A massive review study that looked at data from 18 studies, with a total of 457,922 participants, found that coffee consumption was linked to a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes (4).
According to this study, each daily cup of coffee may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7%. People who drank 3-4 cups of coffee per day had a 24% lower risk.
This is an important finding given that type 2 diabetes is one of the biggest health problems in the world and currently afflicts over 300 million people.
Bottom Line: Multiple studies have shown that coffee drinkers are at a much lower risk of type 2 diabetes, one of the biggest health problems in the world.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia.
One study found that people who drank coffee had a 65% lower risk of Alzheimer's disease (10).
As you can see from the graph, the sweet spot seems to be at 3-5 cups per day. People who drank more than 5 cups had a greater risk than those who drank 3-5.
Alzheimer's disease is a huge problem these days and there is no good cure for it. Therefore, preventing it is incredibly important.
Bottom Line: Coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world.
Coffee appears to be highly beneficial for the liver.
But even more importantly, coffee appears to lower your risk of liver cancer, which is actually the second most common cause of cancer death worldwide.
In a study from Japan, people who drank 2-4 cups of coffee per day had a 43% lower risk of liver cancer. Those who drank 5 or more cups had a 76% lower risk (15).
Many other studies agree with this... coffee drinkers get less liver cancer than people who don't drink coffee. A clear dose-response relationship is found (16).
Bottom Line: Coffee appears to have major benefits for liver health. Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of cirrhosis, as well as liver cancer, which is the second most common cause of cancer death worldwide.
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. It is characterized by the death of dopamine-generating cells in the brain.
In a major review study, people who drank 3 cups of coffee per day had a 29% lower risk of Parkinson's disease. Going up to 5 cups per day had very little additional benefit (17).
It's important to note that in the case of Parkinson's, the caffeine itself appears to be responsible. Decaffeinated coffee doesn't have any protective effect (20).
Bottom Line: Numerous studies show that people who drink caffeinated coffee (but not decaf) have a lower risk of Parkinson's disease.
Depression is an incredibly common problem. It is a serious mental disorder that can lead to a drastically reduced quality of life.
About 4.1% of people in the U.S. meet the criteria for clinical depression.
In a Harvard study from 2011, people who drank coffee were 20% less likely to become depressed (21).
When it comes to suicide, coffee drinkers are at a much lower risk. In one review of 3 studies, people who drank 4 or more cups of coffee per day were 55% less likely to commit suicide (22).
Bottom Line: Studies show that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of depression and up to a 55% lower risk of committing suicide.
Coffee is loaded with antioxidants... but oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind ageing.
Coffee also appears to lower your risk of some major killers like liver cancer, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
In this study, 402,260 individuals between the ages of 50 and 71 years of age were asked about their habits.
Those who drank coffee were significantly less likely to die during the 12-13 year study period. The sweet spot seemed to be at 4-5 cups per day, with a 12% reduced risk of death in men and 16% in women.
Keep in mind that the risk started increasing again as people went above 6 cups per day. For this reason, moderate amounts of coffee seem to be beneficial, but drinking way too much can be detrimental.
If you want to enjoy health benefits from coffee, then make sure not to put unhealthy things in it (like sugar) and don't drink it late in the day if it tends to disrupt your sleep.
At the end of the day, it does seem clear that coffee is NOT the villain it has been made out to be.
With its powerful antioxidants and beneficial effects on health, coffee may literally be the healthiest beverage on the planet.