TYLER, TX (KLTV) - That cup of joe many of us rely on to get through the day, may be packed full of health benefits. New research suggests that coffee helps reduce the risk of developing dementia. Also, coffee is the number one source of anti-oxidants in our diet. One East Texas oncologist isn't so convinced.
Coffee stimulates sales in America. Just look at McDonald's new McCafe menu that is competing with Starbucks. Consider the amount an average joe drinks.
"[I've had] probably three to five cups," said Rusk McGinty.
"I've read that four cups of coffee a day keeps you from Parkinson's and Alzheimers," said Carole Kromenberg.
One study from the University of Scranton said coffee is packed full of antioxidants which fight against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. But oncologist Bill Hyman points out that study was done by a chemist so he's skeptical of any real health benefits.
"I don't think everybody should run down the street saying coffee's going to fix everything that ails you because I don't think that's the case," said Hyman.
"Do you drink coffee," I asked the doctor.
"I drink a lot of coffee," Hyman laughed.
Dr. Hyman said moderation is key. Some studies suggest only one cup a day or, if you drink more, to go with decaf which contains the same amount of antioxidants. It seems most java junkies have their own fix.
"[I] don't need the cream or even whole milk," said Kromenberg. "We drink strictly skinny lattes with Splenda so we don't get sugar fat or anything."
"There's nothing wrong with including limited amounts of coffee in your diet," said Hyman.
One very unhealthy trend Dr. Hyman is seeing is people relying on stimulants instead of sleep.
"We're really running in a vicious cycle," he said. "Maybe you don't need that cup at 4 o'clock that may interfere with good quality sleep at 10 or 11 o'clock."
Dr. Hyman said the best ways to prevent cancer are avoiding saturated fat, excessive sun exposure, and to quit smoking.