Coffee. The word alone can perk up the drowsiest of college students, but this deliciously addictive pick-me-up’s resume lists more than just keeping you awake during that boring lecture. For those of you who add an extra 20 minutes to your walk to campus just so you can get your tall, nonfat latte, coffee has been making quite a name for itself in the news recently.

In September alone, coffee has been found not only to decrease regular drinkers’ risks of developing skin cancer, but also to cut the risk of depression in women, and reduce the risk of potential strokes. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Well, the good news doesn’t stop there.  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, coffee has plenty of other health benefits, including decreased risks for: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and types of dementia.

With those types of benefits, who really cares about the risks that drinking coffee can cause, right? Not really. Before any of you decide to up your caffeine intake by an extra cup or two a day, you should be aware that your beloved java has just as many health risks as it does benefits. While it doesn’t “stunt your growth” like your parents attempted to tell you, (thanks, mom and dad), it can certainly be harmful to your body in other ways.

Most of the risks from coffee come from the caffeine found in it.  Increased caffeine consumption can also increase the risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis, increased anxiety, insomnia, and even potential miscarriages in pregnant women.

So, while non-coffee drinkers shouldn’t feel like they have to start drinking the stuff to reap the benefits, regular coffee drinkers also shouldn’t have to go through that terrible withdrawal period just because they’re scared of the risks.

-Amber Brenza

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