Coffee Refill? It's Okay . . .

Medically reviewed in January 2022

If you sometimes have trouble cutting yourself off after only one cup of coffee in the morning, don't fret.

Actually, going back for a refill might not be a bad move. A few large-scale studies have uncovered some by-the-cup health benefits of coffee. Check 'em out:

1 cup . . . may lower your risk of cancer.
A 13-year Japanese study revealed that men and women who drank a cup or more a day were half as likely to develop cancer of the mouth, pharynx, and esophagus compared with people who didn't drink coffee.

2 cups . . . may fend off strokes.
In a 24-year study, women who drank 2-3 cups a day were 19 percent less likely to have a stroke compared with women who drank less than a cup a month. One caveat: The benefit applied only to nonsmoking women with no history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Do you think you could recognize the signs of a stroke?

3 cups . . . may safeguard your neurons.
Middle-aged adults who reported drinking at least 3 cups of coffee a day were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia or Alzheimer's by the time most of the group had reached their mid-sixties to seventies. Now, that's a lotta coffee. But not for everyone. Read this article to learn about the downside of too much caffeine.

What's in Those Magic Beans?
Although it's not clear how coffee does all of these wonderful, protective things, researchers suspect that the coffee bean's high level of inflammation-fighting antioxidants (called polyphenols) may have something to do with it. 

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