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Coffee is a popular drink in modern culture and has become increasingly so with chains like Starbucks popping up everywhere. While high in caffeine, coffee is an obvious source of water which the body needs to fuel itself. Even the varieties that have milk (e.g. mochas, lattes, etc.) also offer excellent fluid benefits. Outside of this, the health benefits of coffee have been known to help with overall health by affecting different areas of the body.

Coffee in high amounts can have an effect on the bowels and act as a laxative. The stimulant has been proven to not be the caffeine itself but the other properties held within it. It is a common held belief that the caffeine can also act as a diuretic but scientifically this is still a theory.

Both Parkinson’s and Gallstone disease have their effects and chances reduced through consumption of coffee. A linear study over a number of years showed that regular consumption of coffee of more than 2 cups of coffee per day meant test cases were far less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease later in life. Likewise both men and women can reduce their chances of gallbladder and gallstone disease through regular coffee drinking. When caffeinated and non-caffeinated test cases where observed the effect of reduced chances of disease was only found in those who regularly drank caffeinated coffee. The same effect is also seen for Alzheimer’s disease.

Coffee has recently been proven to contain a molecule that activates the bodies sex hormones which have in turned been linked to Type II diabetes. The increase and regulation of testosterone and estrogen within the body is linked but exactly how or why is still not known. Regular consumption of coffee, such as 3 or more cups a day, has a long term effect of reducing the chances of developing Type II diabetes later in adulthood.

Cognitive performance can also be improved by drinking coffee as it has a proven impact on short term recall. This effect is more prominent the older a person gets. The long term effect of coffee drinking on cognitive performance remains a balanced argument.

A mild effect on blood pressure has also been seen on a number of people who drink small but regular amounts of coffee over a number of months. The actual effect was not a lowering of blood pressure in the short term but over the long term.

Finally, coffee is a natural source of antioxidants which has a secondary effect of reducing cell damage over time. Roasting coffee beans is the key to this effect as part of the process releases anti-carcinogenic properties that have been known to help in reducing the chances of certain kind of cancers. Cancers focused on the neck and head have been known to be reduced by drinking coffee.

Coffee drinking is not widely known for its health benefits. Rather than being a pure caffeine source, the drink doubles as a long term aid of fighting certain diseases that have become increasingly common. Diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and certain cancers can have their chances of developing decreased through regular coffee consumption. Enhanced brain function and alertness is a side effect that can be of temporary benefit to the body as and when required. As with everything, consuming coffee in moderation is crucial, but the long term benefits are there for all to see.