There was a time when drinking coffee was considered bad for your health. Even today many coffee drinkers labour under this impression and often still seem reluctant to divulge how many cups of coffee they drink each day. This is based upon the misplaced impression that anything that tastes this good must be bad for you.
Coffee got a bad rap in the 1980s when a study linked drinking coffee to pancreatic cancer was published (See: http://www.nytimes.com/1981/03/12/us/study-links-coffee-use-to-pancreas-cancer.html). This preliminary report was later debunked (See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3063915/) however, the damage in perception of drinking coffee was done – possibly in part to how bad coffee tasted in the good old days. For a trip to the past and the perception of coffee have a look at this video of old TV ads placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the housewife making the coffee. (http://mentalfloss.com/article/59430/coffee-jerks-examination-50s-and-60s-coffee-ads)
It is interesting they never mention the method used only that their new brand of instant coffee will solve all those taste woes.
More recently, health studies have swung in favor of the caffeinated beverage. Coffee has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, and even suicide. See: on type 2 diabetes http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20008687 and on Parkinson’s disease http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17522612. Coffee consumption also reduces risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, by about 40 percent, according to an up-to-date meta-analysis published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (Read more . . . http://www.thealmagest.com/coffee-consumption-reduces-risk-liver-cancer/72690 ). Further, some data indicates that three cups of coffee per day reduces liver cancer risk by more than 50 percent. In addition the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (ref: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1112010#t=articleTop) advises drinking coffee reduces deaths from all causes due to heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, injuries and accidents, diabetes, and infections.
Note however, the beneficial effects of coffee can be partly, if not fully, offset by additives such as milk, cream and sugar, all of which have been proven to be deleterious to good health. You only need to google “is sugar/milk bad for you” to find numerous authoritative articles about the harmful effects of both of these foods. In regard to milk see http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/ and in regard to sugar see http://authoritynutrition.com/10-disturbing-reasons-why-sugar-is-bad/. There are numerous other supporting articles and while general acceptance of sugar as harmful is wide spread the general perception of milk as good for you is only beginning to be questioned.
Coffee is best taken black (plain) and to do that you need to find a coffee that matches your tastes well enough to enjoy it black. Also preparation (brewing) has a significant impact on taste and suggestions on proper brewing will be included in future blogs.
For an update, with an Australian accent, on the benefits of drinking coffee please see short video at https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/25250499/the-health-benefits-of-coffee/