A survey was conducted several years ago that asked people of all ages what they wouldn't give up for a sip from the "Fountain of Youth." Among the 64 and over demographic their answer was an emphatic, "Coffee!"
As a beverage, coffee has taken its fair share of hits from the medical community. For a long time doctors believed it to be a contributor to heart problems and cancer. However, dozens of research studies have since dispelled many of the myths about the negative health effects of this universal beverage.
Recent studies have also linked coffee consumption with a reduced risk of everything from heart disease to Parkinson's. It appears as if the elders who refused to give up their coffee for a shot at eternal youth were on to something.
After all, who needs a mythical cure for aging when you have easy access to a beverage that performs a similar function in fending off certain types of disease?
You can decide for yourself after reading the following "coffee research round-up."
- A plethora of research studies have linked coffee consumption with a reduced risk for liver cancer, prostate cancer, and ER-negative breast cancer.
- Studies have shown that both men and women who drink 1-3 cups of coffee on a daily basis had 20% less of a chance of being sent to a hospital for an arrhythmia than those who did not drink any coffee. Abnormal heart rhythms, a prominent contributor in many heart attack cases, are not as likely to be a problem for coffee drinkers.
- A 2009 study conducted amongst women indicated that females who drank at least two cups of coffee a day were 20% less likely to experience a stroke than those who did not drink as much coffee.
Type 2 diabetes
- The results of over a dozen different research studies have shown that people who reported drinking over 6-7 cups of coffee in one day were 35% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who drank 2 cups or less.
- Coffee is known to contain certain minerals, like magnesium and chromium that can allow for the more efficient use of insulin to control blood sugar in the body. It also has many antioxidants that counteract the oxygen-free radicals that trigger tissue damage.
- Though the reasons are, at this time, unclear, a variety of studies have shown that coffee drinkers appear to be less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than non-drinkers.
Alzheimer's and dementia
- A study that culminated in 2009 found that people who drank between 3 and 5 cups of coffee per day had their risk of acquiring all forms of dementia (including Alzheimer's) reduced by 65%.
Coffee offers certain health benefits that should not be ignored.
The important thing to keep in mind is that, while coffee has certain health benefits, it should be consumed moderately. This is especially important for an elder that has pre-existing health conditions that may be exacerbated by caffeine. Certain medications can also react negatively to caffeine so it's important to check with a doctor or pharmacist before beginning or increasing the coffee intake of an elder.