Studies purporting the health benefits of coffee have seemed to hit the news cycle on the regular recently. Possibly the coup de grâce for the anti-coffee crowd occurred last week when a study came out suggesting that drinking more coffee may undo the effects of liver cirrhosis. The moral: That vicious cycle of booze before bed countered by coffee to rise in the morning may actually be a beautiful symbiotic relationship blessed by Mother Nature herself.
But what about those rare Loch Ness Monster-like people who have eschewed coffee all together? Should they jump on the coffee bandwagon for no other reason than to partake in the beverage’s health benefits?
The New York Times’ Daniel Victor – a non-coffee drinker himself, so you can decided whether or not he should be trusted – posed that exact question to a couple of doctors. Their answers were essentially a collective, “Eh.”
“It’s one thing to say it’s safe,” Harvard’s Dr. Rob van Dam told the Times. “It’s another thing to recommend it as a medical choice even though people don’t like it and they’d have to make an effort to adopt it. We’d need a different level of evidence to recommend it to people.” Dr. Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic agreed: “If you don’t like it, my goodness, it’s not worth it.”
The current opinion on coffee is that it may have health benefits, but like any drug, it can also have side effects such as insomnia and the jitters. The Times' basic conclusion was that whatever your coffee regimen might be, you don’t have much to worry about on either side.
So everybody wins. Well, everyone except people who just chugged a giant pot of coffee and are ready to get into a long contentious debate.