Science Is Agnostic When It Comes To Coffee

I understand that reading an article on the Daily Mail means I’m not reading a premier scholarly journal. In fact, I’m prepared to say that I’m probably not even reading facts half the time with this rag. However, I didn’t know it was going to be a Daily Mail article when I clicked the link through Fark and the headline sounded interesting, so I read it anyway. The headline in question is basically that coffee is bad for you and doesn’t really work.

Okay, fine, I understand that it might be bad. Almost everything that’s enjoyable is usually bad for us in some way; life is awesome like that. However, this is why reading an article about health is prone to driving one insane. From the coffee article:

The study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, showed that when mice were given high amounts of this compound, the equivalent of drinking five or six cups a day, their bodies struggled to control blood sugar and they developed insulin resistance. They were also less likely to lose weight.

Well, that doesn’t sound good! It sounds like I should stop drinking coffee. But wait. From the same damn article, indeed, the very next paragraph:

However, other research has shown that regular coffee and tea intake reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Indeed, one large study undertaken by Harvard researchers, and published last year in the journal Circulation, suggested that moderate coffee intake (four cups a day) reduced the risk of heart failure.

Well, shit, I don’t want to have a neurodegenerative disease, either! So now I should drink coffee? The article doesn’t tell us and instead merely notes that research is “conflicted.” Which is it? Tell me what I’m supposed to be doing, science!

I guess I’ll see for myself in forty years or so which study was correct. Can’t wait to find that out.

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