Coffee

It’s a banner year for coffee lovers. New research suggests that morning cup of joe may actually decrease certain physical pain, says Norway’s National Institute of Occupational Health and Oslo University Hospital.

The study, published in the journal BMC Research Notes, was intended to look at subjects who suffered from chronic pain conditions in areas including the shoulders, neck, forearm and wrists. Subjects were allowed to drink coffee before the tests, if they chose to do so. It was offered as a complimentary beverage and not part of the study’s focus. But researchers soon made a startling connection: 19 people who drank coffee reported lower pain levels than the 29 people who did not drink any coffee. The coffee drinking group noted shoulder and neck pain as 41 out of 100 whereas non-coffee drinkers ranked it at 55.

Since the study wasn’t designed to look at coffee’s effects on pain, the study authors urged caution in interpreting the findings, which follow a string of positive benefits connected with coffee noted in recent studies.

Several recent studies have found strong connections between consuming coffee and decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, an increased ability to lose weight, cancer and heart disease protection, decreased risk of contracting infections related to MRSA-the antibiotic-resistant strain of staph infection, and coffee consumption may actually boost one’s longevity by decreasing some risks of premature death.

Coffee does still have risks—too much caffeine has been connected to hypertension and may put excessive stress on the kidneys and adrenal glands. As well, a recent study found a link between coffee consumption and imbalanced estrogen levels in women.

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Image: visualpanic