For centuries, people have consumed coffee, which improves energy and alertness. Caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant, is the main reason coffee increases energy. The effect of black coffee on health has been widely studied, focusing on the effect caffeine has on fibrocystic breast disease, heart and blood vessel disease, birth defects, reproductive function, and behavior in children. Eight ounces of coffee per daily is considered average; 80 ounces of coffee is considered excessive. In moderation, coffee can be good for your health.
Effect on the Heart
Drinking black coffee affects the heart. Caffeine raises the heart rate and causes palpitations in some people. The more coffee you drink, the greater the risk. Although caffeine can temporarily affect the heart, MayoClinic.com reports that many studies have not been able to show a connection between coffee and increased risk of heart disease. If you have high blood pressure or hypertension, coffee may improve your blood pressure because of its diuretic properties. However, keep taking any blood pressure medications, and tell your doctor if you drink caffeinated beverages.
Coffee and Type 2 Diabetes
Coffee may prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes in some patients. A study published in the 2008 issue of "American Journal and Clinical Nutrition" states that consuming more than four cups of coffee a day resulted in a 30 percent reduction in the risk of developing diabetes. Researchers are not sure what in coffee is responsible, but hypothesize that caffeine likely is. However, you should not drink more than four cups of coffee a day if you experience side effects.
Reduced Risk of Parkinson's Disease
A 2007 study in the journal "Movement Disorders" states that coffee may help prevent the development of Parkinson's disease. Among 29,335 subjects, those who drank five or more cups of black coffee per day reduced their risk of developing Parkinson's disease. A reduced risk was also seen in those who drank one to four cups daily, but drinking more offered better protection.
Protection from Liver Cancer
Black coffee also may slow the development of liver cancer. Specifically, a study in the 2009 edition of "Hepatology" states that regular coffee consumption was associated with lower rates of disease progression in patients with advanced stages of Hepatitis C. This study also notes that regular black coffee consumption has a positive effect on the liver in general, including a lower risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer and chronic liver disease. Increased protective effects are seen with an increased consumption of black coffee. However, coffee should not be used as the sole treatment for liver dysfunction.
- coffee in coffee image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.