Is Coffee Good or Bad For You? The Pros & Cons of Coffee Drinking
Do you like coffee? I do, it's taste and aroma make my mornings so much better! But I heard that regular coffee drinking can have some negative effects on my health, so I decided to do my own little research and here is what I have found:
- 1. Antioxidants. Coffee is rich in antioxidants like chlorogenic acid and melanoidins. Antioxidants help prevent oxidation, a process that causes damage to cells and contributes to aging.
- 2. Parkinson's disease. Regular coffee drinking reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease. A number of studies , have demonstrated that people who drink coffee on a regular basis are significantly less likely to develop Parkinson's disease.
- 3. Diabetes. Coffee drinking has the potential to protect against the development of type 2 diabetes. A prospective study as part of the US Nurses Health Study found that moderate consumption of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in younger and middle aged women.
- 4. Liver cirrhosis. Coffee drinking may protect against liver cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis.
- 5. Gallstones. There is some evidence  that coffee drinking may be protective against gallstone formation in both men and women.
- 6. Kidney stones. Coffee consumption lowers the risk of kidney stones formation. Coffee increases the urine volume, preventing the crystallization of calcium oxalate, the most common component of kidney stones.
- 7. Improved mental performance. Caffeine in coffee is a well-known stimulant. Coffee promotes alertness, attention and wakefulness. The cup of coffee can also increase information processing.
- 8. Alzheimer's disease. Regular coffee drinking may help to protect against Alzheimer's disease. Recent study  in mice showed that caffeine equivalent to 5 cups of coffee per day reduced the build up of destructive plaques in the brain.
- 9. Asthma. Caffeine in coffee is related to theophylline, an old asthma medication. Caffeine can open airways and improve asthma symptoms.
- 10. Caffeine safety. In 1958, caffeine was placed on the Food and Drug Administration's list as generally recognized as safe.
- 1. Heart disease. This is somewhat controversial. Most prospective cohort studies haven't found that coffee consumption is associated with significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
On one hand, diterpenes cafestol and kahweol present in unfiltered coffee and caffeine each appear to increase risk of coronary heart disease. High quality studies  have confirmed the cholesterol-raising effect of diterpenes. Also, coffee consumption is associated with an increase of plasma homocysteine, a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
On the other hand, a lower risk of heart disease among moderate coffee drinkers might be due to antioxidants found in coffee.
- 2. Cholesterol. Heavy consumption of boiled coffee elevates blood total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels . Unfiltered coffee contains two cholesterol-raising compounds cafestol and kahweol.
- 3. Blood vessels. Coffee negatively affects the blood vessel tone and function.
- 4. Heart rhythm disturbances. Coffee can cause rapid or irregular heartbeats (cardiac arrhythmias).
- 5. Blood pressure. Although coffee drinking is not a significant risk factor for hypertension, it produces unfavorable effects on blood pressure  and people prone to hypertension may be more susceptible. Recent Italian study found that coffee drinking can slightly increase the risk for development of sustained hypertension in people with elevated blood pressure.
- 6. Osteoporosis. Coffee intake may induce an extra urinary excretion of calcium. Heavy coffee consumption (600 ml or more) can modestly increase the risk of osteoporosis, especially in women with a low calcium intake .
- 7. Heartburn. A cup of coffee can trigger the heartburn.
- 8. Sleep. Most are aware of the stimulatory effects of caffeine. High amounts of caffeine taken before going to sleep can cause difficulty falling asleep, tendency to be awakened more readily by sudden noises, and a decreased quality of sleep. However, some people can drink coffee and fall right asleep.
- 9. Dehydration. The caffeine in coffee is a mild diuretic and can increase urine excretion. This effect may be easily neutralized by drinking an extra glass of water.
- 10. Dependence. Although "generally recognized as safe" by the FDA, caffeine is still a drug, a mild central nervous system stimulant, and it produces dependence. Caffeine withdrawal is a real syndrome. You may get a few days of headache and irritability if you choose to quit drinking coffee, however, it is relatively easy to break this habit, and most people are not addicted to caffeine.
And here is the list of studies to confirm some points:
1. Saaksjarvi K, Knekt P, Rissanen H, Laaksonen MA, Reunanen A, Mannisto S. Prospective study of coffee consumption and risk of Parkinson's disease. PubMed
2. Hu G, Bidel S, Jousilahti P, Antikainen R, Tuomilehto J. Coffee and tea consumption and the risk of Parkinson's disease. PubMed
3. van Dam RM, Willett WC, Manson JE, Hu FB. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study in younger and middle-aged U.S. women. Diabetes Care. PubMed
4. Leitzmann MF, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Spiegelman D, Colditz GA, Giovannucci EL. Coffee intake is associated with lower risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in women. Gastroenterology. PubMed
5. Arendash GW, Schleif W, Rezai-Zadeh K, Jackson EK, Zacharia LC, Cracchiolo JR, Shippy D, Tan J. Caffeine protects Alzheimer's mice against cognitive impairment and reduces brain beta-amyloid production. Neuroscience. PubMed
6. Urgert R, Essed N, van der Weg G, Kosmeijer-Schuil TG, Katan MB. Separate effects of the coffee diterpenes cafestol and kahweol on serum lipids and liver aminotransferases. PubMed
7. Urgert R, Weusten-van der Wouw MP, Hovenier R, Lund-Larsen PG, Katan MB. Chronic consumers of boiled coffee have elevated serum levels of lipoprotein(a). PubMed
8. Winkelmayer WC, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Curhan GC. Habitual caffeine intake and the risk of hypertension in women. PubMed
9. Hallstrom H, Wolk A, Glynn A, Michaelsson K. Coffee, tea and caffeine consumption in relation to osteoporotic fracture risk in a cohort of Swedish women. PubMed
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