Medical Coffee Encyclopedia

It was around this time last year that the news coffee was actually good for us had begun to sink in. Months of building cheer on the Coffee - Friend not Vice front finally culminated in the fall of 2015 with the release of a Harvard School of Public Health study that connected a daily coffee habit to longevity. All manner of experts chimed in to say this or that wonderful thing about our favourite drink and it was the best fall, wasn't it?

Nothing can top the high of that fall so now we're knuckling down to institutionalizing this good news. Our first task has been an encyclopedic reference on the health impacts of coffee. Don't worry - this encyclopedic opinion supports the general viewpoint that coffee is A-OK, in moderation, taken as simply as possible (no additives) and so on. All that really matters is: the coffee party continues.

This past summer, Green Beanery volunteer and aspiring medical student, Anna Folwell, created for us a round-up of the various effects of coffee on a range of health concerns. In doing so, Anna uncovered a veritable A to U (some letters did not warrant coverage) of current medical opinion and everything we might want to know in relation to coffee and a particular ailment of the body. See: Medical Coffee Encyclopedia.

For instance, you might think coffee should be avoided in the case of a diagnosis of anemia. Well, you would be right. Coffee does not mix with anemia, it can inhibit the absorption of iron and worsen the condition, even potentially cause it in those susceptible to it.

But, for the most part, Anna's encyclopedic findings were positive. Oral cancer, for example, is reduced in risk by coffee consumption. Many things are - dementia ... What else from the D's? Let's see: depression, diabetes but not so much diarrhea (some things are common sense after all). But common sense isn't always reliable: for example, gallstones. You might think coffee should definitely be avoided there but no, it was identified as having a possible preventative effect on symptomatic gallstone disease.

The list goes on and on and covers a number of things none of us ever want to think about. But life can be cruel and if you are worried or curious about the health effects of coffee in regards to a specific problem, feel free to consult our Medical Coffee Encyclopedia. It is mostly good, often surprisingly good news when the news is otherwise ... not.

Coffee, Anna Folwell, thanks you.

Lisa Peryman
Lisa Peryman


Lisa Peryman has worked with Greenpeace Australia and The Wilderness Society (Australia). She studied journalism in New Zealand and book and magazine publishing in Canada. Her background includes reporting and editing for daily newspapers and trade magazines, as well as creative copywriting for broadcast. Lisa is continuing her studies in Canada and currently works with Probe International as an editor and writer. Earnings from Green Beanery operations support the work of Probe International, a Canadian charity that works with citizens' groups around the world to protect their lands and their livelihoods. Probe International is a Canadian trust.