I have trouble justifying my typical 2-4 cups of coffee a week. No matter how diluted with rice milk, whether regular or decaf, there is no denying the less-than-ideal effect of the acids on my tummeh.
However, my average 36 oz of coffee a week has other benefits.
First of all, it magically suppresses nausea. Secondly, it helps me to stave off hepatic cancer and chronic liver disease (Johnson et al 2011*). And as anyone who has ever taken steroids or 6MP or been on chemo/biologic therapy knows, this is a handy dandy organ. Specifically, Dr. Johnson and colleagues report that of their coffee-drinking cohort participants, those who drank 3+ cups of coffee per day on average had a 44% reduced risk of develpping hepatocellular carcinoma compared to those who never drank coffee. As clinical studies go, 44% is a pretty big deal.
There are other reasons to drink coffee, such as its recent implication in protecting against prostate cancer, and the age-old [read: 6-year old] claim that coffee can protect lymphocytes from toxin-induced DNA damage (Steinkellner et al 2005; Bichler et al 2007). Suffice to say, there is ample support for moderate coffee consumption.
Folks, I needed an excuse to get my French roast fix. Or Brazillian roast, or fair trade Guatemalan... really, it's whatever is being served at Journal Club.
* Johnson S, Koh WP, Wang R, Govindarajan S, Yu MC, & Yuan JM (2011). Coffee consumption and reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: findings from the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer causes & control : CCC, 22 (3), 503-10 PMID: 21258859