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Is Coffee Bad for You? New Study Results are Questionable

Last week at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting, researchers presented the results of a Greek study which found that men who drank more than one cup of coffee a day had 30% higher levels of an inflammatory chemical called CRP in their blood. For women, the news was even worse: a 38% increase in CRP.

Now that’s a pretty serious finding. Elevated levels of CRP have been shown to increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, depression, and many other conditions.

As someone who researches the effects of foods on inflammation, the study caught my attention. I should also tell that I am also a coffee lover. In fact, I recently wrote an article on the health benefits of coffee. (If you interested, that article can be found stayhealthy-livewell.com/articles.php?id=4 here.)

But here’s the scoop on the Greek study: It turns out that coffee drinkers also 1)are more likely to smoke; 2)exercise less; and 3)eat fewer vegetables than their non-coffee drinking counterparts.

Let’s review. All three of these factors (smoking, sedentary lifestyle, low intake of vegetables) are known to increase inflammation. There is no solid evidence that drinking coffee increases inflammation. And yet the headlines all read: “Drinking Coffee Increases Inflammation.”

Whether or not you delight in java, inflammation is something to be concerned about, as it has now been linked to virtually all of today’s most common illnesses. But I don’t reckon I’m going change my coffee consumption based on this study.

The best way to reduce inflammation? Don’t smoke, exercise, and eat your vegetables!

copyright, 2006, Monica Reinagel

Monica Reinagel is the creator of the inflammationfactor.com/ratings_system.php IF Rating System, a scientific method of determine the inflammatory effects of foods. She is the author of inflammationfactor.com The Inflammation Free Diet Plot: The Scientific Way to Lose Weight, Banish Pain, Prevent Disease and Slow Aging. (2006, McGraw-Hill).

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