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I am not a coffee drinker, preferring strong black tea with a little soy milk to soften the tannins, but new research may convince me to imbibe once in a while.


A recently released 20-year Finnish study found that among the 1,400 adult subjects, people who drank three to five cups of coffee a day were two-thirds less likely than non-drinkers to develop dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

The findings were reported in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and add to a growing mountain of evidence suggesting that coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of developing diseases like Parkinson's disease, certain cancers and diabetes.

At this time, researchers have not identified exactly what in coffee -- antioxidants, caffeine, fiber , or something else -- explains the recent study observations, but you can bet they'll keep up the studies until they find out.

If, after reading this, you simply must know the details of coffee and all it's wonders, check out CoffeeScience.org where you'll find coffee facts, health news, recipes and a whole lot more.

To whet your intellectual appetite in the meantime, here are some coffee facts from the National Coffee Association of The USA's 2008 Consumption Report:

• 17% of the adult population consumed a gourmet beverage on a daily basis in 2008 compared with 14% in 2007.

• Adults 25-59 led the upswing with 19% of daily gourmet coffee drinkers, an increase of six percentage points from 2007.

• Past year consumption of iced and frozen coffee is up significantly from 2007 levels.

• Coffee drinkers are more likely to feel coffee is healthy, with 49% saying that as opposed to 36% of non-drinkers.

• Sixty one percent said that coffee improves their mental focus versus 48% of non-drinkers and 59% of coffee drinkers say they are more productive versus 47% of non coffee drinkers.

• In 2007, past-day consumption of coffee surpassed that of soft drinks for the first time. While the gap narrowed in 2008, daily consumption of coffee is still directionally higher.

• Consumption of cups per day by consumers age 18-24 continued to trend higher in 2008. Young adults who drank coffee consumed an average of 3.2 cups per day as compared with 3.1 in 2007, a significant increase over 2005's level of 2.5 cups per day.

• Positive health messages are clear drivers of consumption. Questions posed to consumers about the health benefits of drinking coffee and is coffee good for my health are both up significantly from 2005 to 46% and 36% from 37% and 26% respectively.


Enjoy!

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