Almost since its popular ascendance, coffee has been accused of having ill effects on health. In the 1674 Women’s Petition Against Coffee, for example, British women attributed male impotence to the “Excessive use of that Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor called Coffee.” Then, in the 1960s through 1980s, a series of epidemiological studies suggested that coffee consumption might contribute to pancreatic and bladder cancer, breast lumps, heart disease and birth defects. We now know, however, that research was flawed—and in fact, major new studies have found that moderate coffee consumption can improve health and protect against a wide range of diseases, from Parkinson’s to depression to cancer. Check out coffee expert Mark Pendergrast’s analysis of the latest in coffee and health.
From the May 31, 2022, issue