Coffee's Perks Not in the Caffeine

Go for decaf: other chemicals in coffee give health a jolt
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2007 3:59 AM CDT
Coffee's Perks Not in the Caffeine
Cocaine is chock full of caffeine.   (KRT Photos)

(Newser) – Scientists have long championed coffee's health benefits, but a series of recent studies is waking them up to the fact that caffeine has nothing to do with it. Regular consumption of coffee or tea can provide protection against cancer, diabetes and heart disease, but researchers say other chemicals are responsible.

Coffee contains thousands of compounds, including micronutrients, antioxidants and polyphenols, that scientists speculate are the true heroes of the drink's health benefits. Caffeine can provide a jolt to the weary, but can also increase stress. Don't start drinking coffee for your health, cautions one dietitian. "But if you're already drinking, enjoy it in moderation." (Read more science stories.)

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