Occasionally I immerse myself in the world of science and become acquainted with the latest research on the important issues under the scientists’ microscope. Topics such as the origin of the universe, human evolution or the benefits of alcohol spring to mind. Indeed it was only last year that I brought you the good news about alcohol – if you don’t remember you may have taken my advice too far.

Lately it’s the scientific community’s conclusions about coffee that has been keeping me awake. I must say, the news from the lab is excellent: coffee is good for you. Although what I‘m really interested in is whether it’s good for me. I couldn’t care less about you. I’m sorry about that outburst – I’m waiting for my morning coffee.

The grievous belief that coffee is bad for you may be harboured by naysayers and killjoys – sorry about that rage, my coffee has only just arrived – because they have heard that caffeine is harmful. Caffeine certainly can interfere with sleep for many people if taken late in the day. Coffee has a half-life of about 6 hours, so an espresso containing 200mg of caffeine taken at 3pm will still leave 100mg coursing through your body at 9pm. But then what sad-sack wants to nod off at 9pm anyway? Sorry about that rant, I’ve not yet finished my coffee.

Don’t even dare think about decaffeinated coffee; to separate caffeine from coffee is akin to tearing Fred from Ginger. For coffee is not just caffeine, it contains hundreds of different compounds; the sum of which scientists believe is a mere drop in the beaker when compared to the whole that is espresso. A Harvard University study found that coffee had no detrimental health effects, and may well lower the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cardio-vascular diseases. Coffee is also thought to allay cirrhosis of the liver. So if you’ve been overdoing my advice on alcohol you might be able to reduce any liver damage by drinking coffee. If coffee can do this my next investigation will be into how to reduce the effects of aging by eating cake.

To these health gains we can add the benefit of a life worth living, and in particular mornings not anticipated with dread and experienced with loathing. I believe that it’s proven beyond all doubt, coffee is a wonderful part of our society; as are you dear reader. Ah, that coffee was just what I needed.Coffee1 Coffee2