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The effect of coffee on your health

Updated on June 20, 2013

Do you like start your day with a cup of coffee? If your answer is "yes", after you drink it, how do you feel? You fee awake and energetic, right? But do you know there are some adverse effects of coffee on your health? If you are coffee addicted or drink coffee for an extended period of time, you will experience some effects of coffee on you health, which will be discussed in the follow sections of this article.

Effect of coffee on body weight

Coffee can trigger food cravings, stimulate appetite, increase stress level, and increase insulin resistance. All of these effects working together will lead to a series of metabolic processes that eventually builds up body weight. Caffeine, the functional component in coffee elevates the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol increases heart rate, blood pressure, and sensitivity to emergency alert. This, in turn, alerts the body to increase its energy stores which results in food cravings specifically for sweets. Caffeine stimulates appetite due to its ability to induce low blood sugar with symptoms including dizziness and light-headedness. Body's reaction to low blood sugar is increased appetite. Elevated cortisol levels over an extended period of time increases the deposit of fat in the deep belly area. Abdominal fat is associated with increased health risks like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Drinking coffee makes our bodies become resistant to insulin. As a result, glucose and insulin build up in the blood, endangering our health and increasing our risk of developing Type II Diabetes. Drinking coffee can also cause insomnia and sleep deprivation, both of which have been found to increase insulin resistance.

Effects of coffee on cardiovascular system

Drinking coffee can significantly increase central blood pressure as well as systolic and diastolic blood pressure, is a predictor for the incidence of heart palpitations. Due to its effects on raising cortisol, it increases heart rate. It is also implicated in the potential to produce cardiac arrhythmias.

Coffee drinking is linked to higher levels of serum cholesterol, with particularly high levels noted in people who drink boiled coffee or coffee processed at high temperatures (which includes espresso and espresso drinks). Other forms of coffee have also been shown to increase serum cholesterol levels including decaffeinated coffee, and studies show that replacement of regular coffee with decaffeinated coffee does not affect lipid levels. Increases in LDL levels as high as 8-10 percent after drinking decaffeinated coffee for three months have been observed.

Increased plasma homocysteine increases a person's risk of suffering from a heart attack. Coffee drinking significantly increases homocysteine in the bloodstream, even more so than caffeine alone. Coffee drinkers exhibit increased presence of inflammatory markers, including significantly higher interleukin 6, C-reactive protein, serum amyloid-A, higher tumor necrosis factor alpha and higher white blood cell counts. This effect is observed at levels of 200 ml or 6 oz of coffee per day. It is suggested that this inflammatory response Caffeine has been demonstrated to negatively affect stiffness in the aorta as well as aortic pressure, in healthy adults as well as in adults with hypertension. Increased arterial stiffness is a contributing factor in coronary artery disease and is involved in the process of arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

Effects of coffee on digestive system

Coffee Increases Incidence of gastro-esophageal reflux disease because coffee decreases pressure in the lower esophagus, which can lead to reflux. Both decaffeinated and regular coffees are highly acidic and can increase the secretion of stomach acids which is the main reason for heartburn. Studies have shown that a decrease in stomach acid can help alleviate heartburn. Therefore, quitting the coffee habit may be just the right move to help limit your episodes of heartburn. Coffee stimulates acid in the stomach and is associated with a higher risk of stomach ulcers

Coffee has been shown to have a laxative effect in people suffering from colon and bowel conditions which can lead to loose stools as soon as four minutes after drinking it. Coffee can also decrease absorption of magnesium, which will contribute to abnormal bowel regularity.

In summary, drinking coffee is not a healthy way to keep you alert or energetic because it can cause many adverse effects on your health. If you are still drinking, my recommendation is to quit it as soon as you can so that you can enjoy your life more.

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      jeff lupetin 6 years ago

      Interesting information. I find a back and forth, good to bad on the effects of coffee. I have come to realize that if you depend on coffee to keep you awake and alert, that is an issue. However, coffee, like a small amount of alcohol each day can be beneficial. This article doesn't really deal with small amounts. I drink about 2 cups a day. I enjoy it and green tea as well. Plus, each person body may absorb it differently. To make a blanket statement like this bears looking for the opposite view presented in other published articles...everything in moderation seems to fit here! But thanks for posting it Paula....

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      justin 6 years ago

      horrible article. Mispellings, and myths about coffee

    • the-remedy profile image

      the-remedy 6 years ago from Houston

      If you're drinking coffee & tea made with Ganoderma extract, the only one of it's kind called Organogold, you have all the opposite affects that regular coffee bring on. Visit my hub and drink to you health!

    • profile image

      Dave 6 years ago

      In the same paragraph, this article says caffeine reduces blood sugar and then turns right around and says it increases blood sugar. You cant have it both ways!

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      dudette 6 years ago

      @josh ''does not have any reference or scientific back up''. Says who? Just because the article doesn't link to peer review studies doesn't mean they don't exist. Do your own research. Or maybe you don't want to investigate because you want an excuse to keep drinking coffee.

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      dudette 6 years ago

      @pauljorg, you obviously don't know what you're talking about. Who are you to make such generalizations? God? It's not because you feel fine that it's wise to tell others they'll be fine as well.

    • profile image

      Josh 6 years ago

      I looked this up because On mctv they were doing a story on a statistic survey on people who have drank 8-10 cups a day ACTUALLY live longer then people who never drink coffee at all. This post is very biased i must say because I'm practically connected to the coffee pot with an IV drip my whole life and i am a pro athlete. everything susanzheng says in this posts does not have any refference nor scientific back up.

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      Sid1701d 6 years ago

      I loose weight with coffee, reason I drink it is to help my digestive system ex-spell unhealthy buildup of waste that hardens. This happens on my schedule when it is more convenient for me and that way I can prevent embarrassing incidents in class or in car were my body wants to get red of loose stool.

    • profile image

      Mike Chronos 7 years ago

      There are many benefits to your health as well. Your hub seems pretty biased, and only seems to mention the negative health effects.

    • profile image

      Michelle 7 years ago

      I am starting to see more and more about caffeine's negative effects on cortisol and insulin levels. The author of The Decaf Diet - Is Caffeine Making You Fat? spends a lot of time on cortisol and insulin levels and how caffeine's effect on these hormones makes us all prone to overeat. Yours is an excellent article and I am glad there is more and more information available these days about caffeine's effects on the body.

    • profile image

      Ploppi 8 years ago

      I think coffee is alot more dangerous than we think. It will have alot to answer for regarding weight gain, depression and other illnesses.

    • pauljorg profile image

      pauljorg 8 years ago

      I drink lots of coffee and I'm perfect!! LOL. Seriously though, I think that if you drink coffee but pay attention to your body you will know how much is ok and how much is unhealthy. It's also important to remember that coffee is a diuretic, and most people don't realize that they have to drink extra water to make up for that. I think most of the health problems people get are from a lack of water. So if you drink coffee, make sure to drink water too and I think you'll be fine. Also, you have to sleep properly. So don't drink so much coffee that you can't sleep. If you sleep and get water, I think you're fine.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      If you'll just watch ads of cofee on TV you won't think that it has adverse effectsa on health. It even say that it has more than anti oxidants than green tea.

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