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Can Coffee Save Your Life?

Updated on November 15, 2012

Science never lies?

Science marches on, providing us little people with invaluable guidance and also valuable guidance. We understand that hamburgers and fries consumed at every meal will probably kill us in 50-70 years. We learn to moderate. What do we know about coffee?

Not oddly enough, coffee is studied. Can coffee save your life? Dedicated researchers enedavor to uncover eternal truths pertaining to that which we stand in line to purchase at Starbucks. Here are just a few of the organized efforts on our behalf.

Coffee is studied.
Coffee is studied. | Source

The Vanderbilt Institute for Coffee Studies

A subset of the Vanderbilt University Center for Latin American Studies, the The Vanderbilt Institute for Coffee Studies quests for answers to coffee's eternal questions. White-coated scientists and grad students delve into the health effects of coffee consumption. They analyze physiological interactions of your body parts with various compounds found in coffee. They investigate possibilities for therapeutic uses by studying pharmacology of its chemical components. They probably drink some as well, but that's informally documented and financially out-of-pocket.

Activities in the Institute receive financial support from members of the corporate sector including Nestle, Kraft Foods, Sara Lee, Starbucks.

Can coffee save your life? Caffeine in coffee may make you less likely to be depressed.
Can coffee save your life? Caffeine in coffee may make you less likely to be depressed. | Source

Coffee may perk you up

Alberto Ascherio, toiling under the auspices of Harvard's School of Public Health, suggests that coffee may improve your life if you're a girl and depressed. Drinking the stuff could possibly lower your chances of depression by a full 20 percentage points. To be fair, caffeine deserves credit. Coffee is simply the delivery mechanism.

Dedicated researchers monitored 50,739 women in the United States over a 10 year period. For the scientifically uninformed, that's a lot of monitoring. Depression was noted if the subject self-reported themselves as being clinically diagnosed with such during the study. The age range of the subjects was self-reported as 30 to 55 years at the beginning of the study. All the subjects were employed as nurses. Only women who had not been previously diagnosed with depression before the study began were included in the study.

Caffeine consumption via tea, soda pop, and chocolate also correlated with lower incidents of depression.

6 cups a day may cause you to die less.
6 cups a day may cause you to die less. | Source
Your tax dollars at work
Your tax dollars at work | Source

6 Cups a Day may be Healthy

Your contributions fund nutritional epidemiology studies at the National Cancer Institute. One such endeavor indicates that men drinking at least six cups of coffee a day might possibly have a 10 percent lower chance of dying.

For 14 years researchers studied coffee drinking habits of over 229,000 men. Compared to males who drank no coffee at all, dudes daily gulping six or more cups tended to die less. Guys who were already sick (cancer, heart disease and stroke) were not permitted to join in.

Researchers suggested that they had no idea if coffee actually caused the effect, or if other external factors contributed to the findings. They affirmed that the process of making the drink or even the lifestyle associated with heavy coffee guzzling could play a part.

A Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study. When did they have time to drink coffee?
A Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study. When did they have time to drink coffee? | Source

Green Coffee Beans may Save Your Life

A green coffee bean has not been roasted. Starbucks offers a squirt of green coffee bean concentrate as an adjunct to their roasted coffee drink. Extracts from green coffee beans just might increase weight loss. The promising nutraceutical contains high concentrations of chlorogenic acids that are indicated to have health benefits and to positively influence glucose and fat processing in the body.

Sixteen overweight adults were studied for twenty-two weeks: they statistically lost weight when served 1050 mg or 700 mg of green coffee bean extract. The study was executed in Bangalore, India, at Trinity Hospital. Applied Food Sciences, Inc, (Texas, USA) provided the intended nutraceutical in pill form. Green coffee extract is marketed by Applied Food Sciences as 'GCA' , or Green Coffee Antioxidant. Some participants ingested three 350 mg pills daily and others ingested two, except when given a placebo.


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    • profile image 5 years ago

      The extra ingredients probably make a difference too - the froth in a capuccino is supposed to be the protien in the milk!

    • SandyMcCollum profile image

      SandyMcCollum 5 years ago

      This is great news! I just found out that coffee is actually a vitamin! That's really interesting about the green coffee beans, I'm going to look into that, so thanks for the great read. :)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      I like my coffee black, nicomp, but now due to your exceedingly erudite explanation, I shall go green. Promise.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 5 years ago from Earth

      These elaborate "scientific" studies are often quite hilarious, to me. For example, an extensive study featuring 12 scientists and 9,378 volunteers, determined, after $1,879,000 dollars of research funds that were funded by the working stiffs of America (suckers), that rat poison (Strychnine) was more toxic than the artificial sweetner, known as "Aspartame."

      Ha-ha! I just made that last study up, but I have read similar...

      Yeah, Coffee is not bad for you per normal usage, so please save the research funds, dear scientists, and put them to better use, like: Why do mentally challenged people often hold the most prominent positions in America... Ya know, stuff like that; LOL!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 5 years ago

      I have to go, I need to brew a pot of this life saving brew!