Behind the Beans

5 health benefits of caffeine

By Eddie Keller

We all know how caffeine is used to benefit our lives. It is the all important pick me up before facing the world, the beverage needed before you can even think about facing people in the morning.

But these aren’t the only ways that caffeine can benefit our lives. In fact, caffeine boasts a number of surprising health benefits that will only exacerbate your already crazy coffee addiction. Here are a few of them.

1. Memory

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Credit: Creative Ignition. Taken from Flikr

Old age catches up with everyone, meaning unfortunately our memories start to fizzle out. Luckily caffeine could have the answer to that.
Michael Yassa, an assistant professor of brain sciences conducted a study which concluded that caffeine has a positive effect on our long term memory. Testing a group of people that had consumed caffeine and one that hadn’t, Yassa showed them a series of images and then showed them the same images 24 hours later with a few new additions that were similar to the previous ones. He found that those who had consumed caffeine were able to identify the new images as “similar” rather than the same, whereas the others couldn’t.

2. A cure for baldness

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Credit: Eric Cruz. Taken from Flikr

Ah, baldness. Every mans worst fear and the definitive sign of ageing. There are very little ways that men can remedy this almost inevitable process from happening without spending thousands of pounds on treatment. However, recent study’s have shown that caffeine could put male pattern baldness on hold. Researchers took biopsies from fourteen men in the early stages of hair loss and exposed their scalps to a number of solutions containing varying amounts of caffeine. After 8 days certain hair follicles experienced an increased amount of growth from before. Scientists say it would take an astounding 60 cups a day to experience any of these benefits. But don’t fret! There are numerous caffeine based shampoos available to do the work for you, so you won’t have to drown yourself in coffee!

3. Stops your ears from ringing

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Credit: beyondtinnitus. Taken from Flikr

Unfortunately people often overlook looking after their ears, with people going to loud clubs and concert without giving a second thought as to why their ears are like a fog horn when they get to bed. The sound usually goes away but for some people it becomes chronic and never leaves, this condition is called tinnitus. Caffeine can offer a welcome relief for tinnitus sufferers, but apparently only for females! Researchers found that  women who consumed less than 150 milligrams of caffeine daily  had a 15 percent greater chance of developing tinnitus than women whose caffeine consumption was between 450 mg to 600 mg each day.

4. Aids physical performance

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Credit: Kev Ball. Taken from Flikr

The gym lifestyle is quickly becoming increasingly popular in today’s society, particularly amongst the younger generations and luckily caffeine could play a part in your workout routine. Research shows that caffeine increases epinephrine levels in the blood which is the chemical responsible for readying you for physical exercise. As well as this it aids fat cells in breaking down body fat, this makes them ready to be released back into the body as fuel or energy. For optimum results it is recommended to have a strong cup of coffee 30-45 mins before heading off to the gym.

5. Lowers the risk of developing certain types of cancer

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Credit: Antoine Roblez. Taken from Flikr

By far the most important health benefit on this list is the fact that caffeine is linked to lowering the risk of certain types of cancer. Cancer is the worlds number one cause of death and research has shown that coffee is particularly effective at protecting against two types of cancer – liver and colorectal, which rank at the third and fourth biggest killers respectively. Studies have shown that those who drink coffee regularly lower the risk of developing liver cancer by a staggering 40%, they have also found that those who drink 4-5 cups of coffee per day had a 15% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.

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