Coffee has medical benefits: study
By Sarvenaz Kermanshahi
WHAT WE NEED: THE TIM HORTONS LINE TO GET LONGER! A study
done at the Harvard School of Health shows that good
ol’ coffee isn’t as bad as people may
A study published Jan. 6 in the Annals of Internal Medicine
suggests six cups of coffee a day will keep the doctor away.
The study, conducted with 120,000 participants over a 12 to
18 year period, showed subjects who consumed significant amounts
of the good ol’ brew had a lower risk of developing type
two diabetes. In fact, intake levels as low as one cup per
day were shown to have positive effects.
“We found that increased coffee consumption is associated
with a decrease in the risk of developing diabetes,” said
Frank Hu, co-author of the study and associate professor of
nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public
“For men, six cups a day showed a 50 per cent decrease
in risk and for women, 30 per cent,” he said.
Hu and his colleagues were prompted to conduct the study when
findings of a similar nature were reported within the Dutch
Coffee has also been credited with decreasing the risk of
developing Parkinson’s disease, diseases of the gallbladder
and according to some studies, colon cancer.
Hu does not recommend that everyone indulge: “The results
are interesting, and may open doors for further research. However,
we know that maintaining a healthy body weight and exercise
are the most effective means of preventing diabetes,” he
It is not known which of the hundreds of compounds in coffee
is responsible for preventing diabetes, Hu said. “We
believe it could be a combination of caffeine and other compounds,
such as antioxidants.”
Other caffeinated beverages, such as soda and tea, have not
shown the same benefits, while decaffeinated coffee has shown
“The perception of coffee as detrimental to health is
not based on scientific evidence,” Hu stated. He said
he did not know what implications, if any, the findings would
have for the coffee industry.
Some coffee lovers were delighted with the findings. “I
have a history of diabetes in my family, and I have about two
cups a day, so its good news,” said first-year administrative
and commercial studies student Lauren Brandon.
“Everything in moderation is the key with any substance,” said
Cindy Lalonde, supervisor at William’s Coffee Pub in
the University Community Centre. Other William’s employees
were quick to point out another java perk: “When coffee
is made with love it’s all good, and we love our students,” they