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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

A question of caffeine

If you don’t drink coffee, I don’t understand you. Coffee is not just a hot, caffeinated beverage that soothes the soul, it is an elixir of survival for college students, overworked employees and probably even Beyoncé.

It comes in so many forms: espresso, latte, cappuccino and my personal ?favorite, a simple black ?coffee.

You can add cream, sugar and even liqueur if you’re up for it. Usually, I’m up for it.

The debate of the possible health benefits of coffee has been tossed around more than I can hope to keep track. Recent headlines from different newspapers, magazines and random Facebook posts only confuse me ?further.

CNN’s latest headline, “Coffee is practically a health food: Myth or fact?” basically argues the drink has beneficial qualities and some not-so-beneficial qualities.

New studies released this week report several health benefits, such as protection from Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s and even back pain from sitting at your computer, according to CNN.

As I spend much of my day hunched over a computer screen, writing homework assignments or researching new guacamole recipes, I find this reassuring.

Four cups of coffee a day was recently found to moderately reduce one’s risk for melanoma, which is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

As a redhead with fair skin who burns very, very easily, I also find comfort in reports such as these.

However, the CNN article also said there are times when coffee might not be so great, depending on your genetics, age and even how you make that good ole’ cup of joe.

And that makes a lot of sense. Let us not forget that adding a ton of sugar, cream and a caramel shot into the mix isn’t beneficial to our health.

Additional calories from unnecessary sugars and fats won’t do any good for anyone’s waistline or ?cholesterol levels.

However, a headline from the Washington Post reads, “Coffee may not be bad for you, but the jury’s still out about whether it’s good for you.”

Basically, there seems to be a lot of contradictory findings. Or rather, the reporting of those findings is contradictory to each other.

A study conducted at Harvard University analyzed data from 67,470 women between the ages of 34 and 59 years and followed them for 26 years.

It found that women who averaged four or more cups per day had 25 percent lower risk of developing endometrial cancer compared to women who drank little or no coffee. Looks as though I’m doing life right, here.

Other studies have warned of the harms of overconsumption of caffeine, especially for people who experience sleep issues.

A friend of mine recently had to have his heart checked by his doctor for abnormal heart palpations because of his frequent caffeine consumption.

Don’t worry, people — he’s doing just fine.

However, I think the consensus I’m getting is that coffee is indeed good for you, but in moderation. Honestly, this seems obvious to me. Nothing in excess is good for you, not even pizza. Even though Congress counts it as a vegetable, so eat up, am I right?

No matter what, I’ll keep enjoying a good cup of ?coffee whenever I see fit.

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