Several recent health studies confirm that people who drink one to three cups of coffee per day have a lower risk of contracting certain diseases, including dementia, and are more likely to live longer than those who abstain from the caffeinated drink. “In a 2012 study of humans, researchers…tested the blood levels of caffeine in older adults with mild cognitive impairment…and then re-evaluated them two to four years later. Participants with little or no caffeine circulating in their bloodstreams were far more likely to have progressed to full-blown Alzheimer’s than those whose blood indicated they’d had about three cups’ worth of caffeine.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Dr. Gregory Freund, a professor of pathology at the University of Illinois, believes our species’ long love affair with coffee is about more than staying alert. Over the ages, it may have conferred a number of health benefits on those who imbibe it, making it even more popular. Researchers do not understand everything about the effects of coffee, however. It is unclear whether coffee has distinct advantages over simple caffeine, as some studies have suggested. What is clear, say researchers, is that combining caffeine with sugar, such as in energy drinks, confer no health benefits above those of caffeine and coffee.