October 24, 2011

Coffee's Advocate

Another day, another study suggest that - more than make life worth living - coffee might well save it. This is not particularly noteworthy, in and of itself. The study only notes a correlation, which proves little to nothing. What's more, the mechanism is unclear, and the gap in consumption is massive. So what we've learned, really, is that people who drink a lot of coffee tend to have once type of cancer less than people who drink almost none. As such, there is no call to action, and it's said that people shouldn't start drinking coffee if they don't already enjoy it.

Were this one isolated case, I'd agree. Taken by itself, this one study isn't significant enough to support advocacy. But taken on the whole, there's a massive (and growing) body of evidence that suggests coffee deserves to be considered alongside fruits and veggies as potent natural medicine. And those, of course, are advocated for (however ineffectually).

Fruits and veggies are justifiably considered nutritional necessities, containing vitamins and phytonutrients that do innumerable good things inside the human body. But for all of the studies that suggest this, there are precious few that provide a causative link. And like the above study, taken on an individual basis, one might not think an apple a day worth eating. But we know better. We can take the cumulative knowledge, and glean from it that people should eat colorful plants, often at the exclusion of less nutritive things.

Thus, increase consumption of fruits and veggies; decrease consumption of less nutrient dense pseudo-food is considered sound advice.

In that same vein, I offer the following: Increase consumption of coffee, tea, and water; decrease consumption of sweetened liquids.

That, I think, is reasonable advocacy. No one needs to like coffee. But no one needs to like kale, either. You'd still be better off eating a side of that than french fries. So too can people make wise choices in their quest to hydrate and caffeinate. Coffee is a good one. So is tea, and of course, water. Anything sweetened, on the other hand, is probably not a good decision - whether it's sugar or sucralose/asparatame/neotame/etc. doing the sweetening.

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