Time for coffee and tea
Coffee drinking and health benefits and implications
Much research has been carried out into the health effects of coffee consumption. There has been many coffee health benefits put forward, these range from weight control, lowering the risk of diabetes, reduction in damage done to the body from high cholesterol through to lowering of the risks of getting certain types of cancer. Some of the negative effects of coffee drinking include those related to hypertension and addiction.
Unfortunately due to the popularity and prevalence of coffee its health aspects are very difficult to isolate and access. Even coffee itself is not very well defined! Because different coffee bean strains are grown under differing conditions and prepared in different ways, such as from ground or roasted beans, and brewed in many forms such as instant, decaffeinated, percolated, drip, pad or a multitude of other ways, it makes it almost impossible to study the complex range of constituents that may result; this makes it very hard to study any possible coffee health benefits.
Furthermore, from an epidemiological point of view, it is difficult to identify the appropriate means for quantifying the dosage of coffee that is in took by widely dispersed populations. There is not even a standardized measure for a cup of coffee. And, even if a standard sized cup of coffee did exist, the composition and concentrate of coffee bean extract finding its way into that standardized cup would vary in considerably.
An additional problem when analysing the health aspects of coffee is that it is strongly linked to other concomitant behaviours - such as having a cigarette or dunking a biscuit into the beverage, and these associations vary not only from region to region but also from one household to another.
Therefore, isolating coffee benefits and consumption in itself are separate variables, quantifying the appropriate index of consumption and then correlating it with a particular health outcome is a formidable endeavor. However, the potential far-reaching outcome makes that fact almost imperative. However the fact that coffee is difficult to access does not mean that work has not been carried out into the benefits of coffee consumption. Coffee has been linked both good and bad with many diseases and conditions such as: liver damage, coffee diabetes, weight loss, and Coffee Parkinson's disease.
Caffeine as one major identifiable coffee component has been studied intensively. But Caffeine is just one amongst many hundreds of different compounds that make up coffee. Other compounds of the complex coffee mixture have also been identified and isolated, and experimental studies assessing the mutagenicity and carcinogenicity of purified components, as well as mixtures of compounds are ongoing.