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Possible Health Benefits of Coffee

Updated on June 3, 2022

Guilt by Association

Coffee has not been proven to cause all these benefits, but it is associated with them. One way coffee might be helpful is that a cup contains more antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, than a serving of vegetables. Up to five cups per day seems to have benefit. Most of these benefits are also associated with decaf.

Coffee is associated with lower incidence of the following:


skin (including the worst type, melanoma), liver, prostate, mouth, pharyngeal (throat), uterine (womb), and colon cancer

an aggressive (ER-negative) type of breast cancer


acute kidney disease


dry eyes

MRSA (resistant staph infection)

stroke, heart attack and other inflammatory conditions

atrial fibrillation and other incident arrhythmias

congestive heart failure

Parkinson's disease

Alzheimer's disease

depression in women

only in low doses, suicide (High consumption of coffee increases suicide risk.)


tooth decay

dry eyes

MRSA colonization

multiple sclerosis

brain tumor, including the worst kind, glioma

kidney disease in women

rosacea in women

cirrhosis of the liver and liver dysfunction

immune dysfunction

death (all-cause mortality)

Caffeine has long been known to boost the effectiveness of painkillers and is included in many of them. Researchers are now looking at caffeine as a painkiller in its own right.

As of October, 2017, Johns Hopkins reports that caffeine boosts certain types of memory. Caffeine also boosts performance during a physical workout.

And here's a proven benefit: the chlorogenic acid in coffee improves blood vessel function at one and five hours after drinking it.

I drink my coffee happily - 2 to 5 cups per day. My doctor would probably recommend my stopping (or switching to decaf) if I had one of the following conditions:

glaucoma or being at high risk for glaucoma

anxiety disorder or insomnia

stomach ulcer or reflux

certain kinds of kidney stones

too rapid heart rate

irritable bowel syndrome

urinary incontinence

high risk of bone fracture in women

pregnancy (Just don't drink lots.)

Here's a final note: If you stop drinking coffee all at once instead of tapering off, you may notice fatigue and a headache.

Check with your doctor for your individual best use of coffee.


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