Coffee: The Miracle Drug

Coffee: The Miracle Drug

When was the last time you heard a doctor use the word miracle? Well, wake up and smell the coffee: “It’s amazing,” says liver specialist Sanjiv Chopra, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Coffee is truly a lifesaving miracle drug.”

Though he says it’s still a “scientific mystery” how a simple cup of coffee works its wonders in the body, large epidemiological studies repeatedly verify its astonishing benefits. Some recent research highlights:

  • More than three cups a day lowers women’s risk of developing the most common skin cancer by 20 percent.
  • More than six cups a day cuts men’s risk of dying from prostate cancer by 60 percent.
  • Drinking at least one cup of coffee a day lowers women’s risk of stroke by up to 25 percent.
  • Consuming at least two cups daily reduces women’s chances of becoming depressed by up to 20 percent.

“Drink it black, or at most put a little skim milk in it” to minimize calories, Dr. Chopra recommends. The benefits from decaf may not be as prodigious, so stick with regular if you can tolerate the buzz. Dr. Chopra drinks at least four cups a day himself, though most people should limit themselves to two. And no, he jokes, “I’m not sponsored by Starbucks.”

Dr. Sanjiv Chopra is the author of Live Better, Live Longer: The New Studies That Reveal What’s Really Good — and Bad — for Your Health.

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