NBCs Dr. Nancy Snyderman on caffeine: 'It's a decent drug'

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Is a new study correct in suggesting that coffee can lead to early death in some drinkers? No, says Dr. Nancy Snyderman on the Today Show

Every day, most of us get up and have a cup of coffee. Of course, nowadays, a “cup” is not really a measured “cup.” It is typical to see people walking down the street with a cup of java that is 20 oz. or more. Actually, it is probably LESS likely to see someone carrying a cup of coffee that is actually an 8 oz. cup!

But, what if that morning wake-up jolt was proven bad for you? Would you give it up? Well, according to at least one medical expert, there is no credible study out there that indicates coffee is a major health risk, including one recently released in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. This study concluded that men age 55 and under who drink 28 cups of coffee each week, i.e. four cups each day, do have an increased risk of early death.

This morning on NBCs Today Show, medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman indicated that she felt there are major holes in this study. Participants in the study, she explained, not only already had cardiovascular disease, they were not taking proper care of themselves.

"I happen to believe there’s been no great study to show caffeine hurts you unless you have underlying heart palpitations or cardiac arrhythmia or high blood pressure,” she said firmly to Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. “It’s a decent drug. It makes you alert.”

Dr. Snyderman has research to support her beliefs. Many studies have shown that caffeine actually boosts both mental focus and athletic performance, while there are additional studies supporting the reduction of type 2 diabetes in women who drink coffee. Additionally, a 2011 Harvard study indicated that men who drink coffee may lower their risk of deadly prostate cancer.

So, Snyderman’s statement that caffeine is “a decent drug” has weight—and no doubt is a relief to those who just cannot fathom giving up their daily cup of joe … or five.

Image: Wikimedia Commons