Coffee's Effects

A recent interview with Roger A. Clemens about coffee’s health benefits on the Science Talk podcast of the Scientific American magazine. The interview relates to a short column from the Food Technology journal:

IFT – January 2007, Volume 61, No. 1

To a coffee lover like me (I don’t resent the label “coffee geek“), these do sound like good news. In fact, one would think that with coffee’s long history, most of the health effects associated with the beverage have been considered and that the lack of conclusive evidence showing clear negative effects from coffee must somehow mean that coffee doesn’t have much negative effects.

As mentioned in the podcast interview, sweet milk-based coffee drinks are a different story.  Still, one might guess that only a small proportion of the coffee consumed by people observed for studies on coffee’s effects was “black coffee” (without milk and sugar). Furthermore, it doesn’t sound like the studies reviewed provided a clear distinction between different coffee-based drinks.

As conventional wisdom would have it, a straight shot of espresso made with selected arabica beans probably provides more health benefits than the sweet, milk-based, coffee beverages made with generic robusta beans generally consumed in different parts of the world.

Of course, someone will come along to provide evidence for the negative health effects of coffee. Looking forward to these.

All this to say that, even though these studies might go “my way,” I hope there’s more evidence given for the health effects of coffee.

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