Coffee: Benefits, Nutrition and Risks


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When people think of coffee, they usually think of its ability to provide an energy boost. However, according to some research, it may also offer other important health benefits, such as a lower risk of liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart failure.

Worldwide, experts estimate that people consume around 2.25 billion cups of coffee per day.

Researchers looked at the benefits of coffee consumption for conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and liver disease. There is evidence to support some of these claims, but not all.

Coffee contains a number of useful nutrients, including riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), magnesium, potassium, and various phenolic or antioxidant compounds. Some experts suggest that these and other ingredients in coffee can benefit the human body in various ways.

This article examines the health benefits of coffee consumption, the evidence to support these benefits, and the risks of coffee consumption.

The potential health benefits associated with coffee consumption include:

In the sections below, we discuss these benefits in more detail.

1. Coffee and diabetes

Coffee can help protect against type 2 diabetes.

In 2014, researchers who collected data on more than 48,000 people found that those who increased their coffee intake by at least one cup per day for 4 years had an 11% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who did not increase their consumption.

A meta-analysis of 2017 found that people who drank four to six cups of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee each day appeared to have a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, including type 2 diabetes.

2. Coffee and Parkinson’s disease

Various studies have shown that caffeine, found in coffee and many other drinks, can help protect against Parkinson’s disease.

One team concluded that men who drink more than four cups of coffee a day may have a five-fold lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than those who don’t.

Plus, the caffeine in coffee may help control movement in people with Parkinson’s disease, according to a 2012 study.

The results of a 2017 meta-analysis suggest a link between coffee consumption and a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, even in smokers. This team also found that people who drink coffee may be less likely to suffer from depression and cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease.

There was not enough evidence prove that drinking decaffeinated coffee would, however, help prevent Parkinson’s disease.

3. Coffee and liver cancer

Italian researchers found that drinking coffee reduced the risk of liver cancer by about 40%. Some of the results suggest that people who drink three cups a day may have a 50% lower risk.

Also, a 2019 literature review concluded that “coffee consumption probably reduces the risk of liver cancer”.

4. Coffee and other liver diseases

A meta-analysis of 2017 found that consuming any type of coffee appeared to reduce the risk of liver cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis.

People who consume coffee may also have a lower risk of gallstone disease.

In 2014, researchers looked at coffee consumption in people with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). These are autoimmune diseases that affect the bile ducts in the liver.

They found that people with PSC were more likely have lower coffee consumption than people with no condition. There was no evidence to suggest that coffee consumption was any different in people with or without PBC.

Additionally, a 2014 study suggested a link between coffee consumption and a lower risk of dying from non-viral hepatitis-related cirrhosis. Researchers have suggested that drinking two or more cups of coffee each day could reduce the risk by 66%.

5. Coffee and heart health

A 2012 study concluded that drinking coffee in moderation, or consuming about two 8-ounce servings per day, may protect against heart failure.

People who drank moderate amounts of coffee each day had an 11% lower risk of heart failure than those who did not.

A 2017 meta-analysis found that consuming caffeine may have at least a small benefit for cardiovascular health, including blood pressure.

Some studies, however, have found higher levels of blood lipids (fats) and cholesterol in people who consumed more coffee.

Are there any benefits or risks associated with decaffeinated coffee? Find out more here.

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Coffee is low in calories, but adding sugar and cream will change its nutritional value.

Regular black coffee (without milk or cream) is low in calories. In fact, a typical cup of black coffee contains only about 2 calories. However, adding cream or sugar will increase the calorific value.

Coffee beans also contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant.

Antioxidants can help rid the body of free radicals, a type of waste that the body naturally produces as a result of certain processes.

Free radicals are toxic and can cause inflammation. Scientists have discovered links between inflammation and various aspects of metabolic syndrome, including type 2 diabetes and obesity.

In 2018, some researchers suggested that the antioxidant content in coffee may offer protection against metabolic syndrome.

The author of a 2017 article notes that although scientists can prove that certain compounds are present in coffee beans, it is still not known what happens to them once they enter the human body.

Drinking too much coffee can also have side effects. In the sections below, we cover some of these risks.

Bone fractures

Some studies have shown that women who drink a lot of coffee may have a higher risk of bone fractures.

Men with higher coffee consumption, on the other hand, seem to have a slightly lower risk.

Pregnancy

The researchers added that drinking coffee may not be safe during pregnancy. In fact, some evidence suggests a link between high coffee consumption and pregnancy loss, low birth weight, and premature birth.

Endometriosis

There may be a higher risk of endometriosis in women who drink coffee, but there is not enough evidence to confirm such a link.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

People who drink a lot of coffee may have a slightly higher risk of this condition.

Anxiety

Consuming large amounts of caffeine can increase the risk anxiety, especially in people with panic disorder or social anxiety disorder. Less commonly, it can trigger mania and psychosis in susceptible people.

Mental Health

A to study of 2016 concluded that high caffeine consumption during adolescence can lead to permanent changes in the brain.

Scientists behind the study expressed concern that it could increase the risk of anxiety-related disorders in adulthood.

Presence of toxic ingredients

In 2015, researchers found relatively high levels of mycotoxins in commercial coffee. Mycotoxins are toxic substances that can contaminate coffee as a natural product.

Some people worry that acrylalide, another chemical in coffee, could be harmful. Find out more here.

A meta-analysis of 2017 found that it is “generally safe” for most people to consume three to four cups of coffee per day, and that it may in fact reduce the risk of certain health problems.

The study authors warned, however, that smoking could negate any benefits of drinking coffee.

Caffeine is an important characteristic of coffee, but coffee contains many compounds and there are different ways to drink it. So it is difficult to determine exactly how coffee affects a person and which components have which benefits and which risks.

A person who wishes to reap the health benefits of coffee should avoid exceeding the recommended daily allowance and try to watch out for the ingredients they add, such as sugar, cream, or flavorings, as they may not be healthy. .

Pregnant women and those at risk for bone fractures may wish to avoid coffee.

If you want to buy coffee, there is a great selection online.

Buy coffee beans here

Buy ground coffee here

Buy here for instant coffee

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About Jeffery L. Parker

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