“People who already drink a lot of coffee don’t have to feel ‘guilty’ as long as coffee does not affect their daily life.” So says Harvard researcher Frank Hu, MD. In fact, he adds that folks with a coffee “habit” may actually benefit from it in the long run.

The Health Benefits of Coffee
At least six research reports show that people who drink coffee are up to 80 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s, have a 25 percent drop in their risk for colon cancer, an 80 percent drop in their risk for liver cirrhosis, and an almost 50 percent lower risk for gallstones. Not only that, research from Harvard shows that drinking six or more cups of java cuts the risk for Type II diabetes by 54 percent for men and 30 percent for women.

Coffee actually provides more than just the legendary caffeine jolt. It’s a big source of antioxidants, containing such compounds as chlorogenic acid and tocopherols and even minerals like magnesium. The trick is not to over-consume it. For some people, excess coffee can increase heartbeat and jitters. However, the increase in blood pressure that many worry about is largely temporary.

Before you stock up on coffee, keep in mind that unless you drink it black, you could be drinking a lot of extra sugar with your cup of joe. And, as Craig Ballantyne says, watch out for “mega-coffees” that pack in extra caffeine.

One more word of advice: Don’t drink coffee after about 4:00 in the afternoon. The caffeine stays in your system for a long time and can interfere with the length and quality of your sleep.

[Ed. Note: Dr. Jonny Bowden is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition, and health. He’s the author of the new book The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth. For more information, go to www.jonnybowden.com.]