Coffee lovers may be raising their cups-and perhaps eyebrows-at the recent news (in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry) that the drink contains soluble fiber, the type that can help lower cholesterol. With about 1 gram per cup, coffee’s fiber impact is modest. But the report is the latest in a growing stream of positive news about coffee.
Some of the most promising findings come from studies of diabetes. When Harvard researchers combined data from nine studies involving more than 193,000 people, they found that regular coffee drinkers had a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who abstained. The more they drank, the lower their risk.
And, despite coffee’s reputation for being bad for the heart, recent epidemiologic studies haven’t found a connection; some even suggest coffee can be protective. A study in February’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that healthy people 65 and over who drank four or more cups of caffeinated beverages daily (primarily coffee) had a 53 percent lower risk of heart disease than non-coffee-drinkers.