Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Coffee - A Health Drink?

CNET.com had an article this morning that Slashdot was reporting a story that a study shows coffee might have health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancer.

Steve Connor, Science Editor at The Independent reports that coffee was found to be high in health-giving antioxidants. Fruit and vegetables have been known to have great antioxidants, but the study shows coffee beat out cranberries, apples, and tomatoes.

"Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source. Nothing else comes close," said Professor Vinson, whose study was described at the weekend to the American Chemical Society in Washington.

The study found that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee appeared to provide similar levels of antioxidants.

Professor Vinson said we should drink coffee in moderation, only one or two cups a day. And, we should never ignore the benefits of fresh vegetables and fruits. Most Americans never eat enough of these foods.

Dates has been shown to have the highest amount of antioxidants, but we don't eat enough to produce enough antioxidants. Red grapes and cranberries also produce high numbers of antioxidants.

The British Coffee Association thinks that the study confirms that 4 or 5 cups of coffee a day is perfectly safe and has health benefits. But, coffee has it's risks. It can raise the blood pressure in people already susceptible to high blood pressure, can cause heartburn and indigestion, and also reduce fertility in a woman wanting to conceive.

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