Brewhaha Over Coffee Muddies Health Facts

While caffeine has some risks, cups of joe pack a jolt of benefits
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2008 11:19 AM CDT
Coffee: turns out its not so bad for you after all.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Coffee’s health risks and benefits have been widely debated, often with contradictory “facts” emerging simultaneously—but can they all be right? Yes, Jane Brody writes in the New York Times. For instance, below 550 milligrams of caffeine, beverages are not diuretic (though they are beyond that); and while caffeine causes blood pressure to spike temporarily, long-term hypertension among coffee-drinkers is no more likely.

Seemingly contradictory examples abound: Once thought to raise risk of cancer of the pancreas and kidneys (it doesn’t), caffeine is now believed to reduce risk of liver cancer. Meanwhile, new benefits have been discovered. Caffeine is found to improve a sense of well-being and happiness at some levels, and recent studies have shown coffee to decrease risk of Parkinson’s and Type 2 diabetes.