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Jewish World Review
August 23, 2006
/ 29 Menachem-Av, 5766
Scientists, hands off my morning java
Do you think we can stop studying coffee now?
Maybe start studying some other beverage? Or disease? Or swirling mystery of the cosmos? Because this obsessive drive to find something, anything wrong with the brew is getting us nowhere.
Consider the latest scare, released last week. A Brown University study found that people who lead a sedentary lifestyle or have three or more risk factors for heart disease increase their chances of a heart attack if they drink an occasional cup of coffee.
Sounds bad, right? But read a little further and it turns out that those who drank four or more cups of coffee a day didn't increase their chances of a heart attack at all!
In fact, as I sifted through study after study after study on coffee so many! I found that, almost despite themselves, all came to the same shocking conclusion: coffee is not rat poison.
Last month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that the average serving of coffee contains more antioxidants, which are good for you, than the average serving of blueberries.
In February, the National Cancer Institute revealed that daily coffee drinkers had half the liver cancer of folks who never drank it. Harvard found coffee helps prevent diabetes.
So that should wrap it up, right? Coffee's off the hook. Time to go home, folks, nothing here to see.
No. Coffee is the John and Patsy Ramsey of beverages. Americans have a very hard time accepting its innocence.
Maybe that's because for so long coffee was partners with cigarettes guilt by association. But I fear there's a more nefarious reason: The desire to blame the victim. You're sick? Well, buddy, you brought it on yourself.
So off the researchers go to find danger in your daily drink. And as soon as they find out that coffee does not cause cardiovascular disease in men or infertility in women, off they go to study its effect on something else.
Enough! I think we can agree that coffee is something most of us can drink without blood suddenly spurting out our ears.
And now I'd like scientists to start studying some less-investigated beverage, like lemonade.
I'll bet it makes you go blind.
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JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.
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