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    An Ode To The Health Miracle That Is Coffee
    By Hank Campbell | May 22nd 2011 12:39 PM | 6 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

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    There are perennials in the plant kingdom, flowers that bloom each year, and in culture as well.  Each year, for example, there will be a new go-to cliché in football.    Many of us who have watched for a long time can even tell you what year a broadcast was made by which cliche was in use.

    Quiz:  If I say they play "smash mouth football", what year was I thinking?

    Of course, some make less sense.   "He's not just fast, he's quick" will get non-scout heads scratching.   We know they are slightly different words, but really, a slow quick football player makes little sense so fast seems redundant and "It's a shame somebody has to lose this game" makes even less sense, but we hear it all of the time.

    In the world of science and medicine, perennials are that some new series of studies will come out saying how awesome X is - and how terrible Y is.   So highly paid marketing campaigns have convinced food mullahs that High Fructose Corn Syrup should be banned because somehow glucose from corn leads to obesity while glucose from sugar does not - it's like blaming a spoon made from plastic for making Rosie O'Donnell fat and absolving spoons made from metal but they raise and spend a lot of money saying just that.

    In 2007, we finally had enough and started ridiculing all of the articles saying how great chocolate was - what put us over the edge was an AAAS panel (yes, the AAAS corporation that produces Science magazine) on the medicinal wonders of chocolate in which only one member of the panel was not funded by the Mars candy company.   Then we had red wine.

    Quiz: Name the red wine year and, for bonus points, name the "it" food for health miracles of the two other years.   One of them is a trick question.

    2011 may be the year of coffee.   Coffee, at one time, was considered a vice.  It has caffeine, and caffeine is addictive and anything addictive is bad, I suppose, though the word addictive has a colloquial meaning due to marketing campaigns saying drug addicts bear no actual responsibility for taking drugs.

    Coffee is not only no longer a vice, it is basically the Prius of the health community.  Contrast that to three years ago, when dopey 'virtual water' pseudoscience was trying to claim it took 140 liters of water to make a single cup of coffee and therefore coffee drinkers were killing the planet (see Remember That '140 Liters Of Water In My Cup Of Coffee' Theory? Here's Why Virtual Water Is Bogus) but we were defending coffee even then.  Here, from The Assault on Coffee in 2007, when it was still the enemy:

    Coffee is healthy:


    Coffee Makes Us Want To Be Worthy Of It:


    Coffee Makes Us Love Each Other:


    Coffee Improves Race Relations:


    Coffee Protects Us:


    Coffee Is Good For The Global Economy:


    Well, the rest of the science world is finally catching on.    "Coffee consumption modifies risk of estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer" says this study in Breast Cancer Research (doi:10.1186/bcr2879) while in men it reduces the chances of prostate cancer and makes it less deadly even if men get it, says this article in Journal of the National Cancer Institute.    

    And that's not all; dementia, diabetes, you name it, someone is showing coffee helps.   It may be even too much.    Why haven't we done a "Who Funds The Coffee Consensus?" piece, like we finally had to do after that chocolate nonsense got to be too much?   Well, we don't care much about chocolate and coffee is awesome.   So we have completely embraced the dark side on this one.  

    Dark Side Roast Blend Star Wars Coffee
    Yes, this is actually the coffee I was drinking as I wrote this.  I was not kidding about that 'dark side' stuff.

    Comments

    Gerhard Adam
    I certainly can't add anything to this (as I take a sip from my cup of coffee). 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    You can't find anything to criticize???  It's a science miracle!   :)
    Gerhard Adam
    To be honest, once I saw your Dark Side Coffee, my eyes just glazed over and I pretty much lost track of any other thoughts.  :)
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Quiz: Name the red wine year and, for bonus points, name the "it" food for health miracles of the two other years. One of them is a trick question.
    Red wine was 2008.  Acai berries were 2009 and sugar instead of HFCS was 2010 but the trick part was I gave it away in the text.   
    coffee is an important health and safety beverage, when I drink it, my coworkers stay safe and healthy.

    Sometimes, the only exercise that I get is the caffeine shakes

    vonankh
    Well, the dirty dark side must have learned a lesson with the chocolate, so they started investing in coffee commodities instead which have doubled in value in the last year! No wonder. And its only getting "better" since with the looming western world financial collapse, there is going to be a whole lot more coffee needed by the politicians in order to delay or prevent it from happening.