Coffee—is there anything it can’t do?

Everyone’s favorite stimulant has been in the news this week. A number of studies have shown it can help ward off several diseases, including, when paired with exercise, skin cancer.

In addition, coffee helped older women prevent age-related memory problems. Coffee drinkers everywhere perked up at the news. More and more, it seems like the formerly demonized bean is a potent force for good.

But if you’re a woman hoping to hold on to your memory, don’t celebrate with a second cup quite yet: Conservative blogger John J. Ray at don’t-believe-the-hype blog Food & Health Skeptic checked out the original study and notes that:

The authors acknowledge that coffee consumption varies according to all sorts of social factors … and have made some effort to allow for the possibility that it is an underlying social factor they are examining rather than coffee consumption itself. Such factors are however hard to measure and the fact that differences were observed only among women strongly points to a social rather than a physiological explanation for what was observed. My conjecture that the absolute differences would be small is also confirmed.

I would argue with that, but I can’t remember my point.

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