By Sonny Sachdeva, October 30 2014 —
University students are no strangers to the steamy glory that is coffee. When the papers pile up and the exams start rolling in, you can always rely on a cup of joe to pick you up and shock you back to life.
Since coffee is relied on as the sweet nectar of the university student’s life, many put little thought into how the beverage affects their health. Coffee drinkers usually understand that the drink is a stimulant and, seeing as stimulants aren’t usually in the ‘good decision’ column when it comes to making healthy choices, most consider their few cups a day to be a calculated risk.
Actually, according to studies from a variety of reputable institutions, drinking coffee in moderation is, in fact, healthy for you.
The American Cancer Society conducted studies that showed drinking coffee regularly can reduce one’s risk of mouth and throat cancer by up to 50 per cent. They also found that this level of coffee consumption could reduce a woman’s risk of uterine cancer. The study claimed that a woman’s risk is reduced by seven per cent with moderate consumption.
Milan’s Instituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri similarly found that drinking around three cups of coffee daily can reduce your risk of liver cancer by between 40–50 per cent. It is also claimed that the risk of prostate cancer can be reduced by drinking coffee. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center states that regular consumption reduces your risk by over 50 per cent.
Sipping a few cups of the good stuff can boost your health in other ways besides warding off various cancers. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University conducted a study showing that regular coffee drinking can help boost your long-term memory.
A team at the University of South Florida added that coffee consumption stimulates certain internal processes that prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Also, Type 2 diabetes may be fought off via a few cups of coffee each day, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information. They found that long-term coffee consumption is associated with a significantly lower risk of the disease.
However, the key to maximizing coffee’s potential health benefits is moderation. A few cups a day can increase your body’s ability to ward off a large number of diseases, but going over the limit with your daily consumption can have the opposite effect.
A recent study from the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that regular coffee consumption can lead to an increased risk of vision loss by increasing one’s risk of developing glaucoma.
Throwing back a few too many cups can even cause mild hallucinations, according to researchers from Australia’s La Trobe University. Their study found that high caffeine levels alongside high stress levels — a duo certainly not foreign to university students — can cause auditory hallucinations.
Another study from the Mayo Clinic Proceedings that looked at 45,000 participants over a 17-year period, suggests that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day can increase your risk of an early death for those under the age of 55 by 50 per cent.
While a 50 per cent chance of dying early is certainly not a cheery thought to have every time you take a swig of your daily double-double, the study’s findings hinge on a consumption total of 28 cups per week — a number that should be easy to avoid.
As long as you can resist that fourth cup, you can sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy the sweet, sweet healthy goodness.