If you feel bad because you can't make it through the morning without a cup of coffee, stop feeling guilty: two new studies show that drinking coffee can actually reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.The Atlantic writes that coffee consumption has gone from being a vice to almost a virtue, as researchers learn more about its health benefits. A group of Harvard researchers just announced findings that coffee drinking reduces the risk of a particularly lethal type of prostate cancer in men, shortly after a Swedish study was published that shows coffee might reduce the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Previous studies have linked coffee consumption with a lowered risk of conditions like gallstones, Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
If coffee has the potential to be good for us, why has it been maligned for so long? The Harvard researchers think it could be because in the past coffee drinking was associated with other high-risk behaviors like smoking, drinking alcohol and not exercising.
Perhaps the most important lesson to take away from coffee's about-face is this statement from Kathryn Wilson, one of the Harvard researchers:
"I wouldn't recommend that men change their coffee consumption based on this study (or any single study)," Wilson answered. "[But] I think this study is part of mounting evidence that you don't need to feel guilty about your current coffee consumption."
Don't completely change your habits based on one study and don't feel guilty! We think this is great advice when it comes to eating and drinking in general.
• Read the article: Guiltless Coffee? The Drink May Actually Make Us Healthier
Do you ever feel guilty about drinking coffee?
Related: Survey: How Do You Brew Your Coffee?
(Image: Flickr member chichacha licensed under Creative Commons)