Jave jive or jive talking?

Michael Giberson

When the Ink Spots sang “I love the java jive and it loves me” in 1940, they could not have known how right they were.

Coffee not only helps clear the mind and perk up the energy, it also provides more healthful antioxidants than any other food or beverage in the U.S. diet, according to a study released Sunday. […]

The findings by Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania, give a healthy boost to the warming beverage.

So says an Associated Press story appearing in The Mercury News. Or see any of the other 350+ hits resulting from a Google News search on “coffee Vinson.”

I’ll drink to that. Curiously, however, while the findings are all over the online news sources, it isn’t clear from news reports what is actually new about the research. Visit Vinson’s webpage and you can readily find a 1999 article, “Take Two Cups Of Coffee And Call Me Tomorrow,” which featured the same result. A quote:

Vinson decided to study all of the antioxidants together, excluding vitamin C. In terms of polyphenol content, he found that “coffees are lower than teas and lower than wines, but higher than just about anything else you can think of in beverages (like fruit juices).” But because Americans drink a lot of coffee, it represents their top source of antioxidants from food.


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