Ask Dr. Joy: coffee, the beverage of champions?

By WEEK Producer

July 3, 2013 Updated Jul 3, 2013 at 9:59 PM CDT

Coffee…has it gotten a bad rap, or is it really good for you? Despite the fact that it’s one of the top 3 beverage choices on earth, many researchers taut the health benefits of this drink.

There are those who say we should give up our coffee. What might the effects be if we go cold turkey and withdraw from coffee?

* Withdrawal symptoms include headaches that last 2-9 days.
* Other symptoms of withdrawal include fatigue, drowsiness, depressed mood, irritability and trouble concentrating.
* Some people metabolize caffeine slowly and it takes 8 hours to rid themselves of ½ of the beverage, while others take only about 2 hours to rid their body of caffeine.
* Some studies show coffee can have adverse reactions such as jitters, anxiety, high blood pressure and insomnia.

The research seems to change daily, but what is the most recent research about coffee?

* In 2012, the National Cancer Institute concluded a multi-year study of 400,000 participants related to death rates and the findings were interesting.
* Men who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day were 10 percent less likely to die than those who didn’t.
* Women who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day were 13 percnet less risk of dying.
* Other studies show that 3-4, 5oz cups of coffee show a reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes
* Lower risk of basal cell carcinoma (most common skin cancer).
* Lower prostate cancer rates.
* Lower Oral cancer and breast cancer recurrence.
* Caffeine may reshape biochemical environments in our brain that can starve dementia.
* Animals at U of I were starved of oxygen causing them to loose their ability to remember, when given caffeine equal to 2 cups they were able to perform memory activities 33 percent faster than those mice without caffeine.

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