May 30, 2007
At Experimental Biology 2007, the American Society for Nutrition’s popular controversy session focusing on the health effects of coffee drinking may surprise visitors with good news for java fans.
Panel chair Dr. James Coughlin, a toxicology/safety consultant at Coughlin & Associates, says that recent advances in epidemiologic and experimental knowledge have transformed many of the negative health myths about coffee drinking into validated health benefits.
Indeed, panel co-chair Dan Steffen, who follows coffee and health issues in the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs group of Kraft Foods, note that the "controversy" is often to educate a wider audience about this transformation in understanding.
Coffee is among the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and Dr. Coughlin says that the preponderance of scientific evidence—some by the panelist—suggests that moderate coffee consumption (3-5 cups per day) may be associated with reduced risk of certain disease conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease.
Some research in neuropharamacology suggests that one cup of coffee can halve the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Other studies have found it reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, kidney stones, gallstones, depression, and even suicide.