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Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman on February 14, 2012


WebMD Feature: "Coffee: The New Health Food?"

© 2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Narrator: Have you heard the latest buzz about coffee?

: Here you go guys. Oh, thank you.

Narrator: It might just be good for you.Over the years some 19,000 studies have analyzed the health impact of coffee—and if you're a latte lover, you'll be pleased to know that the results keep pouring in: Trigonelline, the compound in coffee that makes it smell so good, has been shown to reduce cavities. Coffee is also full of disease fighting antioxidants. In fact it contains more then blueberries and broccoli. The caffeine in 16 ounces of coffee boosts athletic speed and endurance and reduces muscle fatigue. By contrast, you'd need 64 ounces of cola to get the same result. Studies show with just two cups of java a day can cut your risk of colon cancer by 25%, gallstones by nearly 50%, and cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson's by a whopping 80%. It's also been shown to improve mood and stop headaches. Studies of nearly 90,000 men and women show heavy coffee consumption, we're talking 6 or more cups a day, slashed men's risk of Type Two diabetes by 54% and women's by 30% . But don't run to the coffee pot just yet.

Brunilda Nazario, MD: They still don’t know what derivative of caffeine or coffee reduces you risk of disease. And again thats why no one is really recommending it for disease prevention.

Narrator: And there is certain ways of preparing coffee that can actually make it worse for you.

Brunilda Nazario, MD: French press or the way Scandinavians make coffee, They boil their coffee beans. And those have been shown to have an effect on the increasing your LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol.

Narrator: To avoid an increased risk of miscarriage, pregnant women should limit their intake. Heart and hypertension patients and those at risk for osteoporosis should be careful. And as always, if you're feeling jittery, having trouble sleeping or experiencing a rapid heartbeat, you've probably overindulged. Speaking of overindulging…..

Brunilda Nazario, MD: So let's say you were to drink 3 cups a day of a mocha mix with whip cream on top in a day you would be consuming just in coffee alone 1500 calories.

Narrator: Well, nothing's perfect. For WebMD, I'm Sandee LaMotte.

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