Coffee's clean bill of health
Is there a more beautiful word in the English language?
My beloved morning cuppa is even more beloved than usual today as I, like millions of other Americans, cope with the loss of an hour's sleep Saturday night/Sunday morning. It will take some of us days, maybe weeks to catch up and start feeling right again.
One of my favorite health blogs, the L.A. Times's Booster Shots, did this neat roundup of the potential ill effects of daylight saving time on our health. It's sobering.
Of course, there's no better cure for the loss of sleep than, well, sleep. But most of us don't have the luxury of staying in bed an extra hour. For better or worse, many will rely on coffee to carry us through this drowsy day.
It hasn't been long since the medical community feared that coffee consumption might increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. Many of us remember with fear the scare over a purported link between coffee-drinking and pancreatic cancer. That's been fully debunked.
More recent evaluations of coffee's effects on our health paint a much happier picture. The inky brew is credited with helping to ward off Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease and colon cancer.
Most recently, and surprisingly, research presented at an American Heart Association conference earlier this month found that people who drink a lot of coffee are at decreased risk of hospitalization for heart arrhythmia. No cause-and-effect was established, but still, the news is encouraging to those of us who wonder whether our coffee habit is hurting our hearts.
So I'm going to fully enjoy my coffee today and every day without worrying about it harming my health. In any case, I have much bigger worries on my mind this morning. After all, it is the Ides of March.
Sip your coffee while you check in with us on Twitter: The other Local Living writers and I are at @wposthome/local-living. And keep track of my "Me Minus 10" effort to lose 10 pounds before I turn 50 at twitter.com/jhuget.
Jennifer LaRue Huget
March 15, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Cancer , General Health , Nutrition and Fitness , Psychology
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