Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues a new edition of the Dietary
Guidelines. These are dietary
recommendations for Americans to practice healthy eating habits.
Shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), these guidelines have an enormous impact on US perceptions and behaviors regarding nutrition and health, which is why it’s critical to communicate the science on coffee and health.
This confusion is due to several factors, and one is the difficulty in separating cause and effect in large, population-based studies. For example, someone who drinks a lot of coffee might also sleep less, smoke more tobacco, drink less water, or work unsociable hours. These factors muddy the statistical waters.
Also, coffee is an incredibly complex beast; it contains more than 1,000 aroma compounds, levels of which vary depending on the type of coffee bean and how it is brewed.
Researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, took a detailed look at the impact of coffee consumption on our internal chemistry. Their findings were published this week in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
The scientists found that with increased coffee consumption, blood metabolites involved in the endocannabinoid system dropped off. This is the system that gives cannabis its recreational and medical effects.
Rutgers scientists have found a compound in coffee that may team up with caffeine to fight Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia — two progressive and currently incurable diseases associated with brain degeneration.
The discovery, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests these two compounds combined may become a therapeutic option to slow brain degeneration.
The decision goes against what the science shows us – including the conclusions of the World Health Organization. Study after study, conducted independently and published in peer-reviewed journals, has shown the potential health benefits of drinking coffee — from liver health to living longer.