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Women Who Drink More Coffee Have Less Stroke Risk

Cup of Coffee

A woman’s cup of “Joe” may save actually her life. According a new study published in Stroke, a journal from the American Heart Association, women who consume more than 1 cup of coffee per day have a 25 percent less chance of having a stroke than their counterparts.

Coffee Drinkers Have Less Strokes

Up until now there have been many studies which have looked at the relationship between coffee and stroke; however the findings have been inconsistent. So, researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, designed a large-scale study to help clarify whether or not a connection between the two truly exists.

There were nearly 35,000 women who participated in the study. In 1997 each of these healthy women were evaluated for their amount of coffee consumption per day. After 10 years researchers followed up with the participants’ hospital records to determine who experienced a stroke during this time period. When all other stroke risk factors such as smoking, drinking, weight, diabetes and blood pressure, were accounted for the women who drank the most coffee were found to have experienced the least strokes.

What About Coffee Is So Good?

Experts believe that the health benefit of coffee is not the caffeine, but the high levels of antioxidants contained in each cup. Antioxidants are scavengers which help fight off free-radicals, or harmful substances, in our bodies as well as repair cell damage.

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Other studies conducted on the effects of coffee on overall health have also found relationships between coffee consumption and decreased risks for diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.

While the relationship has been drawn with all of these health factors, it is important to note that it does not necessarily prove causation. Researchers are still working to understand how the properties within coffee affect the human body.

James D. Lane, PhD, professor of medical psychology and behavioral medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. explained to WebMD that, “It has not really been shown that coffee drinking leads to an increase in antioxidants in the body. We know that there are antioxidants in large quantities in coffee itself, especially when it’s freshly brewed, but we don’t know whether those antioxidants appear in the bloodstream and in the body when the person drinks it. Those studies have not been done.”

Non-coffee drinkers need not to run to Starbucks. However, those who do drink coffee can enjoy their cup of “Joe” with the pleasure knowing that it may be giving them a more than a morning jump-start.

Resource: Stroke
Image Source: Wikimedia