Over half of adults in America drink coffee every single day, and collectively, the U.S. spends $40 billion each year on coffee. It is important for daily drinkers to understand both the health risks and benefits of their coffee habit. Here are some ways that coffee can impact your health.
Free radicals are chemicals in the body that have been shown to contribute to chronic diseases like cancer and osteoarthritis. Luckily, antioxidants help fight cell damage done by free radicals. Recent research shows that coffee outpaces wine, tea, fruits, grains and vegetables as the greatest contributor of antioxidants in a standard Western diet.
Con: Heart disease Risk
Two or more cups of coffee per day may increase the risk of heart disease in people with a common genetic mutation (CYP1A2*1F) that slows caffeine metabolism. In one study, around 55 percent of participants had the mutation, and those who drank 4 or more cups a day had a 64 percent increased risk of heart attack.
Pro: Mood boost
Caffeine has been shown to help increase levels of dopamine, which can affect motivation and happiness, and coffee consumption has been linked with a lower risk of depression. Also, a Harvard study found that moderate coffee consumption was associated with an almost 50 percent decreased in the risk for suicide.
Con: caffeine addiction
Caffeine is the most common stimulant in the world, with almost 90 percent of the world’s population using it in one form or another. Coffee often has the highest caffeine concentration per serving, and habitual use can lead to mild dependence. Caffeine withdrawal may lead to symptoms like headache, fatigue and anxiety and generally lasts 1-2 days.
Pro: Alzheimer and Memory
Coffee has been shown to have many cognitive benefits beyond combating sleepiness. Studies have connected the caffeine in coffee with temporarily improved memory recall. Additionally, coffee consumption has been linked to a significantly decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other long-term memory-related illnesses.
Con: Sleep Issue
Since caffeine is a stimulant, drinking coffee can negatively affect sleep. Drinking coffee also may trigger anxiety or other conditions such as restless legs syndrome that disrupt sleep. Consider cutting out coffee after 5 pm to help ensure a full night of rest.
Pro: Cancer risk
Caffeine has been shown to help prevent liver cirrhosis (scarring of liver and poor liver function), and drinking coffee has been linked to a lower risk for liver cancer. Coffee consumption also has been associated with lower risks for colon cancer and lethal prostate cancer.
Con: Digestive and Bladder Issue
Coffee is highly acidic, which means it can ihrritate the digestive tract and contribute to heartburn. Coffee also has been connected with various other gastrointestinal issues, including acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome, and may trigger an overactive bladder.
Pro: Help to burn fat
The caffeine in a cup of coffee increases the resting metabolic rate of both lean and obese individuals, resulting in more calories burned. Caffeine also has been shown to affect the breakdown of fats by increasing the body’s process of lipolysis. Additionally, the energy boost from coffee can help improve one’s motivation and intensity during exercise.
Jury is still out: Coffee and MS
Some studies suggest a link between drinking coffee and a reduced risk of the progression of disability in multiple sclerosis patients. Also, caffeine is commonly used by MS patients to help combat fatigue. Unfortunately, caffeine may exacerbate other issues in MS such as bladder control.
Coffee and Hydration:
Due to its caffeine content, coffee has often been implicated as a diuretic that leaves one dehydrated. But recent research discovered that coffee may hydrate as well as water, as long as one keeps caffeine intake under 500 mg (there are about 95-200 mg in the average cup of coffee).
Coffee and asthma:
An analysis of multiple studies showed that even small amounts of caffeine may improve lung function for up to four hours in people with asthma. Beyond potential symptom management, these results are important because consuming coffee before an asthma test may skew the results and lead to an improper diagnosis.
Reviewed by Joseph V. Madia, M.D.
Source: Daily RX