Sunday December 4th 2016

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How bad is coffee for you?

Whether drinking coffee is harmful for you, or not, has been the center of public debate for centuries.  Caffeine use signs can be individually beneficial or harmful.  The fact is that coffee can be both GOOD and BAD for you. We review here.

How is coffee good for you?

Studies have shown that coffee may have numerous health benefits. Coffee is a rich source of ingredients that contribute to biological activity, including heterocyclic compounds that exhibit strong antioxidant activity. coffee consumption may also help prevent several medical conditions such as:

  • colorectal cancer
  • liver disease (cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • suicide
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus

How is coffee bad for you?

Coffee is a complex mixture of chemicals that provides significant amounts of chlorogenic acid and caffeine. Caffeine can help some conditions and even help hangover symptoms. Although some groups may be more vulnerable to the adverse effects of caffeine (pregnant women, people with hypertension, children, adolescents, and the elderly), the potential highest risk associated with coffee consumption is cardiovascular disease risk factors such as blood pressure and plasma homocysteine.

Studies suggest that high consumption of boiled coffee is associated with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease (5 or more cups a day). This is mainly due to the two diterpenes identified in the lipid fraction of coffee grounds, cafestol and kahweol. These compounds promote increased plasma concentration of cholesterol in humans. Specific conditions related to coffee consumption include:

  • coronary heart disease
  • myocardial infarction

What’s up, Joe?

In the end, researchers agree that moderate daily filtered, coffee intake is not associated with adverse health effects. In fact, adults who consume moderate amounts of coffee (up to 3–4 cups per day providing 300–400 mg/day of caffeine) are not risking bad health. At this time, little to no research exists that can link coffee drinking to health risks at this moderate amount. On the contrary, some evidence of health benefits exists.

Coffee use questions

Coffee is one of the most popular and frequently ingested beverages worldwide. But coffee can be addictive. Are you wondering if you should quit coffee altogether? Do you have another question about coffee consumption? Please let us know. We’ll be happy to answer your questions with a well-researched, expert response!

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Reference sources: Coffee and Health: A Review of Recent Human Research
USDA article on Coffee – a functional food with health benefits
Coffee consumption and human health–beneficial or detrimental?–Mechanisms for effects of coffee consumption on different risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus

Photo credit: Kessop

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