Coffee the elixir of life. For a lot of people it is hard to imagine a day without it, myself included. The caffeine perks you up, and there’s something soothing about sipping a cup of coffee. But is coffee consumption good for us? We will discuss that today.
Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverages in the world. When we think about coffee the first thing that comes to mind is caffeine. But coffee has many other components such as antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and protect against disease.
Coffee undergoes a chemical metamorphosis from the unroasted green bean, and the type of bean (Arabica versus Robusta), degree of roasting, and preparation method including coffee grind setting and brew type, will all have an influence on the biochemical composition of the final cup.
What are the main health benefits of drinking coffee?
You could live longer
Different research studies, including a meta-analysis by Grosso and colleagues have shown that coffee consumption decreases the risk of mortality for all causes by 10% in individuals that drink up to 7 cups a day. They also found that the largest reduction in relative risk was associated with the consumption of 3 cups a day compared with no consumption.
Decreased risk of Cardiovascular disease
Coffee consumption has been consistently associated with lower risk of mortality from all causes of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke. Research indicates that the largest reduction is achieved at 3 cups a day. Compared with non-drinkers, risks were reduced by 19%.
Researchers have also found evidence of benefit in relation to high versus low coffee consumption after myocardial infarction and lower risk of mortality.
Coffee consumption was associated with lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke, with estimates indicating the largest benefits at consumptions of 3 to 5 cups a day.
Decreased risk of Cancer
More than 40 studies have shown a lower incidence of cancer for high versus low coffee consumption. It is associated with lower risk of the following cancer:
- Prostate cancer.
- Endometrial cancer.
- Oral cancer.
- Liver cancer.
Decreased risk of Liver diseases
Coffee consumption has shown to reduce the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by 29% compared to non-drinkers, 27% decrease for liver fibrosis and 39% for liver cirrhosis. Coffee consumption is also associated with a lower risk of cirrhosis with high versus low consumption.
Coffee consumption is also consistently associated with significantly lower risk of gallstone disease.
Decreased risk of Metabolic disease
Coffee consumption has been consistently associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes for high versus low consumption and 1 extra cup a day increases that benefit. For metabolic syndrome high versus low coffee consumption is associated with 9% lower risk.
Studies had also shown a lower risk of renal stones and gout with high coffee consumption.
Studies observe that people who drink the most coffee have a 23–50% lower risk of getting this disease. One study showed a reduction as high as 67%.
Decreased risk of Neurological disease
Coffee consumption has been consistently associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. Consumption also had a consistent association in studies with lower risk of depression and cognitive disorders, especially for Alzheimer’s disease.
Improved Energy Levels and Reaction Times
Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels. That’s because it contains a stimulant called caffeine — the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.
After you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to your brain. In the brain, caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. When this happens, the amount of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons.
Many controlled studies in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function — including memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general mental function.
Caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat-burning supplement — and for good reason. It’s one of the few natural substances proven to aid fat burning.
Several studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3–11%. Other studies indicate that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people.
However, it’s possible that these effects diminish in long-term coffee drinkers.
Coffee is a highly popular beverage worldwide that boasts a number of impressive health benefits. Many studies have demonstrated that it has multiple health benefits even at high consumption rates and that only in specific cases it can cause harm.
A cup of coffee not only can help you feel more energized, burn fat and improve your physical performance, it can also lower your risk of developing multiple health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and of course, with the added benefit that it is delicious and make millions of people mornings better.
Poole R, Kennedy OJ, Roderick P, Fallowfield JA, Hayes PC, Parkes J. Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes [published correction appears in BMJ. 2018 Jan 12;360:k194]. BMJ. 2017;359:j5024. Published 2017 Nov 22. doi:10.1136/bmj.j5024. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5696634/
Kris Gunnars, BSc. (2018, Sep 20). 13 Health Benefits of Coffee, Based on Science. Healthline. Retrieved from: