On October 1, International Coffee Day, we round up some of the ways coffee can boost health, giving you a good reason to say yes to another cup of joe. Coffee can help lower the risk of diabetes. A 2014 study found that those who increased their daily caffeine intake by about
1.5 cups of coffee a day over a four-year period had an 11% lower risk for adult-onset diabetes in the subsequent four years than those whose intake remained the same. The findings also showed that those who made moderate to large decreases in intake (about two cups a day) had an 18% higher risk of developing the disease, suggesting that coffee could have an effect on a short-term basis. Among the 120,000 health sector workers studied, those with the highest coffee consumption, three cups or more per day, also had the lowest risk of type 2 diabetes — 37% lower than those who consumed a cup or less per day.
South Korean researchers have found that coffee may boost heart health, with those who drink three to five cups of coffee a day benefiting from a lower risk of clogged arteries that could lead to serious heart problems. After analysing data from 25,100 South Korean men and women, one in seven of whom had detectable levels of coronary artery calcium (CAC) — an early sign of coronary heart disease or potential blood clots—the team found that the level of CAC was highest among those who had less than one cup or more than five cups of coffee daily, but lowest among those who drank between three to five cups.
The findings of a US and Swedish study which compared more than 1,000 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) to a similar number of healthy people suggested that individuals who drink four to six cups of coffee daily may be less likely to develop the disease. When compared to those who drank at least four to six cups of coffee per day during the year before symptoms appeared, those who did not drink coffee had about a one and a half times increased risk of developing MS, with similar protective effects also seen among those who drank large amounts of coffee five to 10 years before symptoms appeared.
A study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston found that men who drank two to three cups of coffee a day were less likely to have erectile dysfunction (ED). Published back in 2015 in the journal PLOS ONE, the findings showed that men who consumed 85-170 milligrams of caffeine a day were 42% less likely to report ED, while those who drank 171-303 mg daily were 39% less likely, when compared to those who only drank 0-7 mg a day. The researchers suggested that the positive effect comes from caffeine triggering a series of pharmacological effects that result in an increase in penile blood flow.