The Health Benefits of Coffee


Image from charlestoncoffeeexchange.com

Image from charlestoncoffeeexchange.com

We’ve been hearing for ages that coffee isn’t good for us, it makes us short, among other things, specifically, the finger is pointed at the caffeine in coffee, bringing about things like decaffeinated coffee.  But are many health benefits that have been surprisingly discovered recently, such as helping with weight loss and even helping to lower blood pressure.

While the source of the reason we drink coffee, the stimulation, is through caffeine, caffeine happens to only make up a small percentage of coffee, specifically, only 1% of the green raw coffee bean is caffeine.

What makes up a more sizable portion of the bean is a antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, or CGA, which is associated with said weight loss and lower blood pressure benefits, but recently there has also been suggestions that CGA also acts as a neuroprotectant, which acts to prevent oxygen deficiency in the body, or hypoxia.

The retina of the eye is a part of the body that is highly oxygen dependent.  The retina stands to benefit from the CGA in coffee because of the possibility of it being a powerful neuroprotectant.

Recent tests with mice, coffee extract, and CGA and found that both coffee extract and CGA alone prevented retinal degeneration.

Of course, too much of anything is bad, and other studies such as one in 2013 Mayo Clinic Proceedings  associated drinking four cups of coffee a day with an increased of early death.

So while there may be benefits of drinking coffee, such as health improvement in the eye and other areas of life, there can also certainly be risks.

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