Many studies have looked at the health effects of coffee, a touchy subject since it's part of the routine of so many Americans. Scientists have a hard time determining how much influence coffee has over your health since so many lifestyle factors contribute to positive and negative outcomes.
The latest study to pile onto this line of research brings good tidings: Coffee consumption reduces the likelihood of liver cancer -- specifically, the common form called hepatocellular carcinoma -- by 40%. According to this analysis, three cups of coffee is even better, reducing odds by 50%.
These insights are based on a meta-analysis of 16 high-quality studies from 1996 to 2012, which makes the evidence a lot stronger than from just one experiment.
But before you rejoice and drink up, remember: This study did not prove that coffee causes any benefits at all. In fact, people with liver cancer may reduce their coffee intake, which could also explain the association.
“It remains unclear whether coffee drinking has an additional role in liver cancer prevention,” study author Dr. Carlo La Vecchia said in a statement. “But, in any case, such a role would be limited as compared to what is achievable through the current measures.”
In other words, you can prevent liver cancer with a lot more certainty by getting vaccinated for hepatitis B, controlling hepatitis C transmission and reducing alcohol consumption.
Women may be better multitaskers than men
Journal: BMC Psychology
The ability to juggle several chores or duties at once is important in many occupations. A new study finds that women may be better at performing two tasks at once than men, but cautions that this is only one piece of research and shouldn't be used to make generalizations.
Researchers gave 120 women and 120 men a computer task-switching test, and separately gave 47 women and 47 men a handwritten task-switching exercise involving more "real life" scenarios.
In the first experiment, men were slower at performing tasks that were quickly interchanged than women. In the second, the study found that "men and women did not differ significantly at solving simple arithmetic problems, searching for restaurants on a map, or answering general knowledge questions on the phone, but women were significantly better at devising strategies for locating a lost key."
Again, this is a small sliver of all men and women, so don't take this study to mean that any given man is inferior than a woman at finding misplaced keys.