Harvard Says “Drink Up Coffee Lovers!”

I realize there’s a lot of alarmist stuff out there about how coffee can wreck your health.

I respectfully disagree.

And so does Harvard Medical School.  Harvard researchers say drinking coffee may help prevent diseases such as:

Cancer: Some studies have found coffee drinkers have lower rates of colon and rectal cancers and are 50 percent less likely to get liver cancer than coffee abstainers.

Type 2 diabetes: Coffee is thought to contain chemicals that lower blood sugar because heavy coffee drinkers may be half as likely to get diabetes as those who drink little or no coffee. Coffee also may increase your resting metabolism rate, which could help prevent diabetes.

Parkinson’s disease: Coffee seems to help protect men from Parkinson’s disease, but not women. The difference might be due to estrogen, researchers say.

Heart disease: Coffee is not linked to the development of heart disease. In the past few years, Harvard scientists say, coffee has been shown to be safe even for heart attack survivors. Scientists think antioxidants in coffee may reduce inflammation and protect blood vessel walls.

Life span: Recent studies suggest that drinking coffee decreases the risk of premature death, especially in women. Women who drank at least five to seven cups a week had a death rate 26 percent lower than non-consumers, a large investigation by researchers in Spain and at Harvard Medical School found.

It’s not only Harvard researchers who are touting the brew’s benefits.

Last month, a study led by Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., showed that people with chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease who drank three or more cups of coffee a day cut their risk of the disease progressing by 53 percent.

Although caffeine might be considered the “active ingredient” in coffee, coffee is only 2 percent caffeine and 98 percent “other stuff,” including more than 1,000 different compounds such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

It even contains fiber. Each cup contains from 1.1 to 1.8 grams of soluble dietary fiber, the kind that dissolves in water and helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestines, according to researchers at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid.

Do researchers have any words of caution? Yes — although regular coffee drinking isn’t harmful for most people, that might not hold true for pregnant women. Research has linked miscarriage to caffeine consumption of 200 milligrams or more per day. A typical cup of coffee has 100 to 150 milligrams, Harvard reports.

Of course, we like to be able to justify our morning addiction as healthful, when the truth may be we can’t get moving without it!

Is it possible to be caffeine-addicted? Yes, University of Florida professor and director of toxicology Bruce Goldberger says.

“It is one of the most commonly ingested drugs worldwide. It is addictive. One example of that is if you consume a lot of caffeine, then you don’t, you start to crave it. If you consume a lot of caffeine, and it is not working, then you need to consume more,” Goldberger said.

Like anything, experts advise, moderation counts. Anyone who’s ever had the jitters from drinking too much coffee knows that.
Interestingly, cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Dwight Lundell, whose book The Great Cholesterol Lie is one of the best on inflammation and heart disease, has a new product in Asantae’s line called JAVA.




  1. Bob Petrie

    My doctor mentioned that there may be a link between caffeinated coffee an enlarged prostates in men. I’m curious to hear whether there are any peer-reviewed studies about this potential link. Could decaffeinated coffee provide a good alternative to those concerned about cafeine intake? Are there any inherent risks in consuming “naturally decaffeinated” coffees?

    BTW, thanks for the great content.

  2. Patrice Smith

    I have always wondered about this: I drink mostly decaf coffee. If I am understanding this article correctly, drinking decaf gives the same benefits as caffeinated. Does decaf coffee have the same amounts of “other stuff” as caffeinated coffee? I believe that even decaf has some amount of caffeine, too…

  3. Dr. Jonny

    to the best of my knowledge, the study didn’t address caff vs decaf. I believe many of the healthy compounds in coffee are independent of the caffeine, but i have spoken to some coffee researchers in academia who hypothesize that there may be an interactive effect between the caffeine and the other compounds in coffee.


  4. Dr. Jonny

    I did a quick search on PubMed and couldn’t find any studies supporting this- be curious what studies your doc is referring to.

    If for any reason you’re worried about caffeine, decaf is a perfectly fine alternative but get the water processed Swiss decaf.


  5. Rob - @formerfatguy

    I’ve written against coffee in the past, understanding that most people over consume it. Initially, removing coffee plays a key role in restoring health and improving pH balance.

    however, eventually, I see that coffee can in fact be added back into ones diet and even used as a “tool” to improve health.

    It’s a fine line to walk though.

    btw, I love how you’ve moved to the Thesis theme Jonny
    .-= Rob – @formerfatguy´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

  6. Dr. Jonny

    thanks Rob!!


  7. Sandra Ortiz

    My mom has just been diagnosed with Diabetes. She is a coffee lover. But drinks it moderately. She likes to add teaspoon of creamer and splenda with a helthly balanced breakfast. I have read so many articles about how its ok to drink and how its terrible to drink and she must stop. What is your opinion? Can she continue to drink her coffee? if so, should she drink it before or after her breakfast? how long before or after?

  8. Sandra Ortiz

    My mom has just been diagnosed with Diabetes TYPE 2 . She is a coffee lover. But drinks it moderately. She likes to add teaspoon of creamer and splenda with a helthly balanced breakfast. I have read so many articles about how its ok to drink and how its terrible to drink and she must stop. What is your opinion? Can she continue to drink her coffee? if so, should she drink it before or after her breakfast? how long before or after?
    Or is it ok to have her coffee with her breakfast as usual?

  9. Dr. Jonny

    Absolutely. IN fact studies show that coffee drinking actually reduces the risk of diabetes. But if she has high blood pressure, it’s a different story and you’ll want to be careful. Don’t use “creamer” it’s full of trans-fats. Use half and half or something else! I see no reason to eliminate a morning cup of coffee for your mom.


  10. Suzanne Stapler

    Also don’t add Splenda or Nutrasweet. Read Joseph Mercola’s book, Sweet Deception to see why. You are much better adding stevia (only from SweetLeaf — available online or at Whole Foods) or some raw, organic honey or coconut palm sugar. They are all much healthier sweeteners. than the Splenda or Nutrasweet which are cancer-causing. Try to make the coffee organic.

    I am a nutrition student and I still have to have my two cups every morning. 🙂

  11. jeanne

    I have atrial fibrillation. My doctor says to stay away from caffeine so I drink decaf coffee occasionaly. Would like to know your thoughts on this.

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  13. ET

    If coffee blocks absorption of cholestrol does that not make coffee bad for us? My understanding is that our body needs cholestrol especially our brain.