A few months ago I wrote a blog post about the health benefits of coffee, particularly benefits to cardiovascular health and cancer risk. Today I would like to add to that research, with two new studies (seen in Life Extension magazine's August 2015 issue).
One of these, published in the journal Heart, is more evidence showing a protective effect against cardiovascular disease. This study involved 25,138 participants undergoing CT scans for coronary artery calcium scoring over two years; not too bad. Participants who consumed 1-2 cups of coffee daily had a 13% lower risk of detectable coronary artery calcium in comparison to those who never drank coffee. However, people who consumed 3-4 cups of coffee daily had a 40% reduced risk. Calcification is a measure of atherosclerosis, and it does not mean that you should avoid calcium-containing foods, or supplements either if it is necessary for you, such as if you have coeliac disease or osteoporosis (especially if it is responding to supplementation). As we learnt in nutritional biochemistry, inflammation and oxidative stress drive atherosclerosis, but don't treat it on your own, you must find a supportive practitioner.
The other study suggests a protective effect of coffee against developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Over 4,000 participants in Sweden, as well as over 1,000 participants in the United States had their coffee intake over the past 1, 5 and 10 years ascertained, and this was compared between patients with MS and those without it. Overall, there was a 33% lower risk of MS among people consuming 6 or more cups of coffee per day the year before diagnosis, though I do not see myself recommending this level of coffee consumption ever. In the US participants, 4 or more cups of coffee daily was associated with a similar reduction in risk, and high intake 5 or 10 years before diagnosis also seemed to have given significant protection. This may have been due to the relative greater ease of natural vitamin D production among the US participants, as multiple studies have shown protective effects of vitamin D too. I usually drink one cup of coffee in a day, and I am not recommending increasing coffee consumption solely to prevent MS or CVD, as there are many ways of preventing these. I am saying, however, that if you currently drink coffee, you do not need to give it up, but if it is causing you problems such as adrenal fatigue, then reducing your intake may be advisable.