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Is Coffee Healthy?

Updated on November 1, 2013

Yes and No. Coffee does have some health benefit properties. But there are people sensitive to caffeine or to coffee itself.

If you are gluten sensitive, you may also be sensitive to coffee. Have that tested. Because coffee is a gluten cross-reactive food.

Black unsweetened coffee may actually good for you. It contains good antioxidants and flavonoids.

Coffee can provide some protection against cardiovascular disease. Coffee reduce the risks of developing type II diabetes. It also reduces the risk of liver cirrhosis and some types of cancers.

Nevertheless, everything in moderation. Caffiene is like a drug. And too much can kill you. EnergyFiend has a "death by caffeine" calculator which comes up with the answer that it takes 95 cups of brewed coffee to kill a 150 pound person.

Of course, we can not just blindly trust such calculators found on the internet. We have to do some cross-checking. Wikipedia says that the median lethal dose is ...

"The LD50 of caffeine in humans is dependent on individual sensitivity, but is estimated to be about 150 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body mass or roughly 80 to 100 cups of coffee for an average adult."

which corroborates what the calculator gave.

In Chapter 1 of the book, "Dr. Chopra Says: Medical Facts and Myths Everyone Should Know", it writes ...

"rather than being dangerous, coffee may also offer substantial benefits, including protection against heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, liver cirrhosis, Parkinson’s disease, cavities, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and even suicide."

It is best not to put any sugar in your coffee or tea. If black coffee is too strong, you can add a little bit of milk, provided that you do not have casein allergy or do not have much problems of lactose intolerance.

If at Starbucks, just ask for "black house coffee and no room for cream". It is the least expensive beverage they have and is also the healthiest (aside from plain water). Don't get any of those high-sugary drinks like latte, etc.

An Harvard School of Public Health article says that ...

"evidence is good that for people in general—outside of a few populations, such as pregnant women, or people who have trouble controlling their blood pressure or blood sugar—coffee is one of the good, healthy beverage choices."

Coffee does have caffeine, which can be both bad and good. Those who are negatively affected by caffeine and pregnant woman should limit consumption of caffeine. Caffeine may dysregulate blood sugar and diabetics should be careful. In fact, many diabetes are told to limit or avoid caffeine. Caffeine also may increase the stress hormones. Hence, if you are stressed out or have adrenal fatigue, you also want to avoid caffeine.

Also those with serious cardiac arrhythmias should also avoid. Caffeine decreases your body's ability to absorb magnesium, which can lead to magnesium deficiency. Caffeine may also deplete the body of other vitamins and minerals.

But caffeine is not all bad. The caffeine in coffee may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Study in Japan found caffeine consumption in coffee, green tea, black tea and oolong tea is associated with reduce risk of mortality from cardiovascular diseases.[reference]

Because of caffeine's good and bad sides, do not over-consume caffeine and do not use caffeine as a replacement of a healthy breakfast.


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    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

      Yes, I too have heard about coffee reducing risk of Alzheimer's. In fact I wrote an article about that a while back. Here is the link...

      Ironically, in that case, it was caffeine that is the active ingredient in reducing the risk. The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease has article titled "Caffeine Reverses Cognitive Impairment and Decreases Brain Amyloid-β Levels in Aged Alzheimer’s Disease Mice"

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 4 years ago from The City of Generals

      Hi BlissfulWriter. I've read an article years ago that people who drinks more than a cup of coffee a day are less likely to get alzheimer's disease than those who seldom drinks coffee. So probably one good benefit of coffee? In my case I have cut down on my favorite latte as caffeine affects me (hyperthyroidism) so I go for roasted rice or corn coffee made at home.

      Thank you for this very useful information, everyone deserves to know this. I'm sharing. Blessings and best wishes!

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

      Coffee is actually healthy if caffeine does not affect you. It is only unhealthy if your dose of caffeine exceed your individual caffeine tolerance level and/or if you are sensitive to caffeine. So whether coffee is healthy or not totally depends on the individual. In fact, I wrote a hub long time ago explaining why coffee can be healthy for many individuals:

      Another hub I wrote is that coffee is healthier than milk...

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Oh, it is a daily battle to balance the coffee intake. I love coffee, but I know that anything in excess is bad. I have, however, cut the sugar out. I haven't put sugar in my coffee in years. (I relayed a story about that in my hub about the signs of common courtesy dying.) I wish you were able to definitively say that YES coffee is good for you, but I know the reality is that there are pros and cons. Thanks for sharing those with us.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

      If possible get decaf that uses the The Swiss Water Method, which is a safe, chemical-free, decaf process. Organic decaf is often made this way.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

      Decaf coffee is fine. However keep in mind that the beans naturally contains caffeine. Hence to decaf it requires various "unnatural methods", some of which involves the use of solvents. However, the claim is that the end product contain zero or trace amounts of solvent residue such that it would not be a problem.

    • sexylegs profile image

      Venjie 4 years ago from Australia

      how about the decaf ones? my doctor told me to avoid caffeine but its just hard for me to wake up in the morning without having coffee so I have decaf coffee instead with no added sugar just milk.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      blissfulwriter, very insightful hub you have written here. i absolutely love coffee and find it very interesting to know the health risks behind drinking it. thanks. voted up.