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Coffee will always have lovers and haters. Even scientists do not seem to agree on certain claims about this millenary beverage. However, a recent umbrella review of the scientific literature identified and evaluated more than 200 meta-analyses, and they concluded that usual levels of coffee are generally safe, with a reduction of various health problems at 3 or 4 cups a day. With moderation, coffee is more likely to cause benefit than harm, and in most cases, there’s no reason to stop drinking as a part of your daily habits.

In this article, we will disclose the latest scientific advances on why we consider coffee more of a friend than a foe.

Coffee and the risk of disease

Starting with our list of benefits, there’s sufficient scientific proof that coffee reduces the risk of various diseases:

  • It lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes: According to a study, patients who drink 6 cups of coffee a day have a 22% reduction of diabetes risk. In their discussion, the authors mentioned this association was stronger for decaffeinated coffee, possibly explained by magnesium and polyphenols found in this fantastic beverage.
  • Coffee improves dental health: Researchers determined that black coffee without additives (milk or sugar) modulates oral bacteria and reduces the risk of tooth decay. Additionally, an article published in the Journal of Periodontology reported that coffee intakes reduce periodontal bone loss, a common problem associated with periodontitis.
  • It reduces the risk of various types of cancer: People consuming coffee regularly have a reduction of total cancer risk, prostate cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, and endometrial cancer. This is likely the result of an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of coffee in the organism.
  • It’s associated with a lower incidence of neurologic problems: Neurochemical imbalances and neurodegenerative disease are significantly reduced with coffee consumption. Among coffee users there’s a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, probably because brain plaque formation is reduced, according to studies. There’s also a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease and depression.

Coffee as a solution to your health problems

  • Coffee as an aid for headache pain: One of the most useful applications of caffeine is related to migraines tension headaches, and other types of headache. It has an analgesic effect equivalent to acetaminophen, and it can be combined with other drugs to provide a more effective relief. Additionally, coffee has been found to reduce post-workout soreness by a whopping 48% according to studies.
  • Enhancement in antioxidant profile: Research has demonstrated the antioxidant capacity of coffee, and this property is associated with a reduction in inflammation. Many health problems are either associated with inflammation, oxidative stress or both. That’s probably one of the reasons why drinking the right amount of coffee is associated with a longer lifespan.
  • Improves liver enzymes: Many patients with a liver condition and elevated liver enzymes may benefit from the protective effects of coffee and its phytonutrients. This substance has been found to reduce liver enzymes and protects against liver cancer.

So, either if you’re a coffee lover or not, the benefits of this beverage are available for everyone, and the most important recommendation to keep it healthy is avoiding refined sugar and drink with moderation.

 

References:

Poole, R., Kennedy, O. J., Roderick, P., Fallowfield, J. A., Hayes, P. C., & Parkes, J. (2017). Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes. Bmj359, j5024.

Pereira, M. A., Parker, E. D., & Folsom, A. R. (2006). Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: an 11-year prospective study of 28 812 postmenopausal women. Archives of internal medicine166(12), 1311-1316.

Namboodiripad, P. A., & Kori, S. (2009). Can coffee prevent caries?. Journal of conservative dentistry: JCD12(1), 17.

Ng, N., Kaye, E. K., & Garcia, R. I. (2014). Coffee consumption and periodontal disease in males. Journal of periodontology85(8), 1042-1049.

Maia, L., & De Mendonça, A. (2002). Does caffeine intake protect from Alzheimer's disease?. European Journal of Neurology9(4), 377-382.

Yamada-Fowler, N., Fredrikson, M., & Söderkvist, P. (2014). Caffeine interaction with glutamate receptor gene GRIN2A: Parkinson's disease in Swedish population. PLoS One9(6), e99294.

Lucas, M., Mirzaei, F., Pan, A., Okereke, O. I., Willett, W. C., O’reilly, É. J., ... & Ascherio, A. (2011). Coffee, caffeine, and risk of depression among women. Archives of internal medicine171(17), 1571-1578.

Ward, N., Whitney, C., Avery, D., & Dunner, D. (1991). The analgesic effects of caffeine in headache. Pain44(2), 151-155.

Maridakis, V., O’Connor, P. J., Dudley, G. A., & McCully, K. K. (2007). Caffeine attenuates delayed-onset muscle pain and force loss following eccentric exercise. The Journal of Pain8(3), 237-243.

Troup, G. J., Navarini, L., Liverani, F. S., & Drew, S. C. (2015). Stable radical content and anti-radical activity of roasted Arabica coffee: from in-tact bean to coffee brew. PloS one10(4), e0122834.

Lopez-Garcia, E., van Dam, R. M., Li, T. Y., Rodriguez-Artalejo, F., & Hu, F. B. (2008). The relationship of coffee consumption with mortality. Annals of internal medicine148(12), 904-914.

Xiao, Q., Sinha, R., Graubard, B. I., & Freedman, N. D. (2014). Inverse associations of total and decaffeinated coffee with liver enzyme levels in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999‐2010. Hepatology60(6), 2091-2098.

Larsson, S. C., & Wolk, A. (2007). Coffee consumption and risk of liver cancer: a meta-analysis. Gastroenterology132(5), 1740-1745.

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