Lindsey Settlemire, Staff Writer
Your daily cup of Joe could actually be adding years to your life.
According to a study done by medical students at Harvard School of Public Health, when consumed in moderation, coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of type II diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease in healthy adults. Learn more about it here.
This notion is further explained by Florida Southern Athletic Training professor Dr. Mick Lynch.
“The largest part of the decrease [in mortality rate] is probably due to a decreased risk of heart disease, but decreasing diabetes type II is also a big deal because that contributes to several causes of mortality, heart disease being one,” Lynch said.
In an interview with CNN, Ming Ding, a doctoral student in the Harvard School of Public Health department of nutrition and lead author of the study, attributed the health benefits of the beverage to chemicals it contains.
“The chlorogenic acid, lignans, quinides, trigonelline and magnesium in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” Ding said.
More simply stated, the chemicals found in coffee act as natural anti-inflammatories and help to control blood sugar which in turn contributes to the lower risk of heart disease.
A similar study conducted by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee also claims that caffeine, a stimulant widely consumed in the form of coffee, can lead to the reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Students at Florida Southern College were pleased with the idea of coffee extending one’s life, as well as other health benefits.
“I’m drinking coffee anyway. It’s pretty awesome that something you’re doing daily can help increase your life,” junior biology major Sam Clarke said.
Some students, such as sophomore business major Loralee Alter, were more skeptical of the idea. When informed about the study, her eyes lit up.
“Well, I’m all for it then. That makes me happy,” Alter said.
Alter and Clarke were found studying and enjoying a cup of coffee in Tutu’s, the local coffee hub on campus. Both girls said they developed their coffee drinking habits their junior year in high school.
“I drank it when I was in AP and IB classes nonstop,” Alter said.
It should be noted that the study comes with the disclaimer that some of these positive affects can be minimized due to the added calories coming from the sugar and creamer normally consumed with a cup of coffee.
According to the study, “Care should be taken to minimize these caloric additions.”
Lynch, not a coffee drinker himself, does warn against the sugar found in popular drinks of cappuccinos and lattes, as well as getting a coffee from Starbucks.
“A Starbuck’s coffee is larger than a cup of coffee in a white ceramic cup, particularly with a grande,” Lynch said.
Alter and Clarke both claimed that they prefer to drink a traditional cup of coffee made in their rooms to the popular sugar-packed drinks, but that doesn’t keep them from indulging every once in a while.
“If I make it, it’s regular coffee,” Alter said, “but, if I go somewhere like Starbucks, I’ll get a macchiato.”
Lynch also remarked that the idea of coffee either being advantageous or disadvantageous to health has been going back and forth for many years.
“In the 1980s, it was considered likely bad, in the 1990s it became less worrisome. Subsequent studies have narrowed the questions a bit and are better studies,” Lynch said. “So coffee, as just coffee and not a latte, will remain a good thing for a while, I think.”