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Is Coffee Good or Bad For You? The Pros & Cons of Coffee Drinking

Updated on April 18, 2008

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:

Coffee Pros

  • 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 [1],[2] 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[3] 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 [4] 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 [5] 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.

Coffee Cons

  • 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 [6] 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 [7]. 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 [8] 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 [9].
  • 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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    • profile image

      IDNOBLE 3 months ago

      Seven years ago, I wrote a comment about coffee and I felt good reflecting back at the comment I made about my finding about coffee. I have grown to know that an 100% Arabica coffee are good and do not smell in our body, urine and mouth. "The origins of Arabica coffee that's 100% genuine is from Ethiopia and Yemen. This coffee is the first of its kind that is said to have been grown for thousands of years south west of Arabia. Arabica that is 100% authentic coffee beans are the most popular and are considered the world's best coffee. There is no other coffee bean product that can match the 100% genuine Arabica coffee". A word from the wise, Do everything in moderation!

    • profile image

      kcupsinfo 2 years ago

      i think coffe is good for me,, you cen read in http://kcups.info

    • profile image

      Johnf120 3 years ago

      I have not checked in here for a while since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I'll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend bbeabgdbdkak

    • profile image

      Safie 4 years ago

      I love coffee because it makes my day. It is the only thing I miss if I travel away from home. The thought of coffee wakes me up in the morning.

    • profile image

      Katie 4 years ago

      Thanks. I'm writing a speech about coffee and this is perfect. Also great to see what coffee can help with.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 4 years ago from Pasadena CA

      Coffee dilates blood vessels, which can be good in some situations and not so good in others. If too many vessels are dilated too long, it reduces pressure in the vessels and makes the heart work harder to get the blood around the body - hence the danger of heart attacks (or failure). That said, for most of us that's not a problem, because we don't drink enough.

      I like coffee. I drank it more when I lived near Starbucks than I do now out in the boonies. However, there was a time when I was repetitively getting canker sores in my mouth. I wondered if they were caused by too much acid, so I stopped drinking coffee and green tea for awhile (which are acidic). It worked right away and has continued to do so. Now I'm careful to keep coffee drinking in balance.

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      carpinteyrocpx 4 years ago

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    • profile image

      sarah 5 years ago

      For me personally the pro's far outweigh the cons.

      I'm 20, I do not have cholesterol issues, I eat very healthy foods. So that factor would not affect me.

      I suffer low blood pressure at times, recently went to the doctor and it was 74/70 or something close to that. Then did a retest half an hour later and it was more normal. So in that regard coffee would help me.

      I have good calcuim intake so osteoporosis would not occur, most likely.

      I also have a good water intake and only have 1 cup of coffee every 2 or 3 days

    • profile image

      marlon franco 5 years ago

      I am a coffee lover...and glad to read this article and knowing the benefits and cons. of coffee in ourselves..thanks to all the pros..and to all the coffee mates that share their comments.

    • profile image

      JW 5 years ago

      Wow, the negatives far outweigh the benefits! I'll continue to steer clear of coffee.

    • profile image

      James Oliver 5 years ago

      If you want to live longer, you might want to rethink giving up your three daily cappuccinos. A new study found that drinking coffee could lower your risk of death.

      with lover,

      James webmaster of http://4cupcoffeemakerreviews.net

    • profile image

      Akanksha 5 years ago

      This is the best place which was so beneficial for me as I was always stopped from taking Coffee but I could never resist it in my life. Its a great drink one can have for always especially great for me 'coz me being a neuro Patient generally get frequent Head ache but a cup of coffee is all it takes to get me normal again.

    • profile image

      Akanksha 5 years ago

      This is the best place which was so beneficial for me as I was always stopped from taking Coffee but I could never resist it in my life. Its a great drink one can have for always especially great for me 'coz me being a neuro Patient generally get frequent Head ache but a cup of coffee is all it takes to get me normal again.

    • profile image

      franshesca 5 years ago

      lol you copied that from dumblittlemandotcom

    • profile image

      Adele 5 years ago

      wow i LOVE the pros hey, i cannot live without my coffee, i am a addic and drink at least 6-8 cups of coffee per day, i can also sleep through it. its like bekalu said, i sleep even better.

      now come to think of it, i am going to make some coffee. :-) mmmmmm

    • profile image

      bekalu hailemariam 5 years ago

      i now know that drinking coffe is the best option to keep me going in business.as to me. the whole thing seems little confusing or may be i am supernatural cause i really did drink even 3 cups of coffe in the night but this couldn't stop me from a sleep. i can get better sleep

    • profile image

      Joseph Tomsha 5 years ago

      I heard coffee gives you F.B.D. (frequent boner disease) And I have suffered a long time. but I have found a cure ;)

    • profile image

      Manav Agarwal 5 years ago

      I strongly thing the person who has written this article is a coffee lover, but sorry to say you wrong because what ever god things you mentioned about coffee is that it can help slightly reduced some of the symptoms of a diseases but to tell you all this information about the benefits of reducing the diseases is just the experiment and observation on patients. The scientist them self do not have the commendable reason for this. While talking about the caffeine it is an intoxication it will seriously effects our brain, and what ever immediate effect you see will not going to last for long but simultaneously it will decrease your mind capacity make you addicted and you will never be able to realize that. In Indian Vedic literature it is clearly written which ever thing is intoxication in very dangerously for mental ,physical and spiritual health.

    • profile image

      Jacob 5 years ago

      What hasn't been mentioned here is that coffee can really stain your teeth. Also it really gives people bad breath. I still love coffee but be sure to have some mint gum on you for afterwards. Nothing worse than going to a meeting and having to deal with coffee breath.

    • profile image

      Dillon Dunn 5 years ago

      blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

    • profile image

      Pat Marsha Long 5 years ago

      Nothing like it in the afternoon or evening either!

    • profile image

      Pat Marsha Long 5 years ago

      There's nothing like a good crema in the morning.

    • profile image

      Elan Dassy 5 years ago

      As the cultivation of coffee gained momentum, many coffee shops also came into being. After Yemen, coffee made its way to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and then to every other place in the world. Coffee has a wonderful aroma and taste that can make any one drool over his knees. No matter how tasty this beverage is, over consumption of coffee will ultimately cause adverse effects on the human body. If coffee is consumed moderately, than one cannot only enjoy its rich taste but also numerous benefits as well. Today, gano coffee is becoming a popular choice in the hearts of the health conscious people. Ganoderma Coffee is a much tastier and healthier variety of coffee.

      The Ganoderma Coffee is rich in anti-oxidants which help in regulating the cancer causing cells in the body. This is readily available at most of the leading coffee shops. There is great news regarding this variety of coffee, that it is cheaper than the ordinary coffee.

      It keeps the cells fresh and removes all the free radicals that are the toxic for the human body. The Ganoderma Coffee also works wonders in removing the symptoms of depression and indigestion. It is also greatly beneficial in boosting the metabolic rate of the body. The Gano Coffee also helps in preventing Parkinson’s disease and combats cancer. It drastically reduces the excess moisture from the body, thereby facilitating the waste removal from the body.

      The ganoderma coffee offers plenty of health benefits to all its drinkers. Every sip of Gano Coffee can help us in keeping various health problems at bay. Ganoderma Lucida is also known as the ‘wonder herb’ and it has been in regular use by the people of China and Japan for past so many centuries. The emperors of these countries used the extracts of this herb in tea. They believed that this herb will get vitality and long life to them. Today, all the health benefits of this wonder herb can be easily enjoyed through coffee Ganoderma. The anti-oxidants and anti-biotic properties of this herb can increase the health benefits of coffee manifolds. It helps in regulating the blood sugar and blood pressure levels as along with slowing down the aging process.

      Sauce:- http://goo.gl/gw484

    • profile image

      taalajbk 5 years ago

      is it ok to drink an instant coffee??

      i mean a( 3 in 1 Pack )

      a combination of coffee,Sugar, a Milk etc..

    • Brenda Kimani profile image

      Brenda Kimani 5 years ago from Riverside, California

      Hey there just wanted to offer you a healthier choice to drinking regular coffee.Its called organo and its infused with Ganoderma an ancient Chinese herb that helps the body remove build up of toxins and allows the body's natural immune system to strengthen itself.Its really good stuff, I've been drinking it for a while and i love how it makes me feel....if you want more info here's the link

      - http://organogld.weebly.com

    • profile image

      mayhemp 5 years ago

      I like this article, thanks to the one who posted it, but I still love to drink coffee, for me too much of everything is not good, so to all coffee lovers like me, lets drink moderately. :D

    • profile image

      twocans 5 years ago

      What people also need to remember it is very easy for coffee to increase your alcohol intake. I found it common to have between 6 and 10 ish cups of instant coffee every day, the latter ammount in the winter as it was cold and sometimes heathing would not be enough. Any way I found by drinking so much coffee I became desperate for alcohol in the evenings to wind down. It was the noraml maybe 3 cans of 5% larger and perhaps 3/4 bottle red wine. Glady I am off the coffee for near 2 weeks and the urge for drinking so much has gone. I can easily now do 3 small cans a larger a week and not find that there is is something missing from my life. Thus if you drink too much alcohol (you know who you are)..... then cut out the coffee ahhhhhhh it is so so addictive but enjoyable to say I shall never drink it again.

    • profile image

      Geneva 5 years ago

      Is three cups to much

    • profile image

      eol 5 years ago

      but in the latter-day saints belief that coffee is not good for the body

    • profile image

      MB 5 years ago

      cons definitely outweigh the pros

    • profile image

      Anonymous 5 years ago

      Great article! (Anyone notice how professional the top comments are, and how unprofessional they start to get?)

      Keep up the good work!

    • profile image

      Steffen Jensen 5 years ago

      Did you forget to point out, that the positive effects of coffee is from brewed coffee, and not instant ?

    • profile image

      mac 5 years ago

      great info !!!

    • profile image

      MAR 5 years ago

      Coffee in moderation is all you

    • profile image

      mw 5 years ago

      I think coffee is the best

    • profile image

      Akshay 5 years ago

      Thanks..!!

      This article was really helpful, as i was thinking whether to take too much coffee or not...

      because I need it for not falling asleep at night so that i can study till late hours...Coffee is great...

      CHEERS ! FOR KATIE

    • profile image

      sisko 5 years ago

      mmmmm Im going for a starbucks right now

    • profile image

      Turides 5 years ago

      A lowd of cra*

    • profile image

      Jen! 5 years ago

      Coffee is amazing and surprisingly good for you! Minus the cream an sugar of course, also go with some home roasted beans or stick with the regular a lot of company's use acids to remove the caffeine for the coffee

    • profile image

      addict 5 years ago

      coffee addict that is. Like most addicts I don't indulge 24/7 but don't make me go without my fix throughout the day. Just saying! And besides, I always knew it was good...for ME!!

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      hi kom123 and dav

    • magicrob profile image

      magicrob 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thoughtful, well researched article. Not gonna stop drinking coffee, whatever evidence may show itself...

    • profile image

      gracie 5 years ago

      nice one, i love coffee thanks for the info...

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      goodbye i is going :D

      nice 2 argue with u!

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      once again... COOL BEANS!

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      dav make an accoynt

    • profile image

      kom123 5 years ago

      hi peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeople

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      mau5 man as well

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      i wasn't trying 2 offend u or anyone else...

    • profile image

      kom123 5 years ago

      blahblah

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      i think deadmau5 is awesome but shut up ...l.

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      yellow ur aeydan

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      ddam stalker stop talking

    • profile image

      yellow 5 years ago

      kom, ur a spamming @$%$& dav didn't want n argument

      & mau5 man Deadmau5 is awesome but watch the language

    • profile image

      ...L 5 years ago

      DADY!!!

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      ya who are you

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      who are u

    • profile image

      ...L 5 years ago

      dady stop pretending to be ppl

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      hey "dav" stop it

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      kom your the stalker

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      maby its a stalker who said that

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      cool benois

    • profile image

      yamgal 5 years ago

      STOP IT!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      cool coffee beans

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      i r sad u so mean :'(

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      its spelled aeydan

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      kom you sick basstard

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      i got arested for mollesting 53 times

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      hi davis and ayden

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      faxing berlin p.s. u spelt guini pig wrong

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      no kom you did a guni pig

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      i did it 33 times

    • profile image

      mau5 man 5 years ago

      im awesome

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      i did a guini pig

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      i am stupid and DAV is way better than me

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      fyurufyawotqwyavgaerguyq3gt83l85gtyq3rrjghqel9rugfqw4eufwgLUI4GFTWuef2tqf4il2tq4fiuwtlf4i7gtfqwf7ugq347gq3ilg7q3gq3ghwai74gtyqglaerawghuefaueflqwuiegf,wevgu;oawgjAhGFASDVLJSODGFaISFHQIWFWKFUAWOVGHUI

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      our friend ship is now over :P

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      i hate u

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      now people will think this is a staged argument

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      at least im not some not nice freak who sits at home on

      computer all day looking at pics of chicks and listens

      2 bad music u bum :(

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      hurry up u bum

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      look whos talkin

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      u is not nice :'(

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      D: you harsh girl

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      introducing the NEW Egg White breakfast Sandwich DUBCAT

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      i'll make your mau5 dead with my skrillex

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      mau5hau5 :D

    • profile image

      kom 5 years ago

      you meani

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      jersey shore goodbye vinny

    • profile image

      dav 5 years ago

      cool beans

    • profile image

      Erik 5 years ago

      Like soda its on the acidic end of the ph scale. Our bodies have to stay nuetral so it has to alkalize somehow. It takes it from our bones.

    • profile image

      Scott Tiedman 5 years ago

      This was a very informative article, but if you had actually looked at people who drank coffee you'd see that they look much older than their actual age, and this is do to the amount of wrinkles and tone of the skin. Not only this but one other con is the fact that coffee sends your stomach through the same process as hide goes through when it is being tanned to make leather.

    • profile image

      bob 5 years ago

      WHEN I TAKE A DUMP EVERY DAY I AM GIVING BACK TO THE "COMMUNITY"

    • profile image

      sr 5 years ago

      for taste ok but no as a drug

      true strength comes from inside not from outside stimulant

      fresh air yoga fitness meditation tai chi other options to feel good

    • Marla Rose profile image

      Marla Rose 5 years ago from Aventura, Florida

      Hi Katie! Excellent article! It's a good thing I drink coffee! I love coffee and tea! These are my two favorite beverages.

    • profile image

      ANON 5 years ago

      You cited everything except the original source! For SHAME!

    • profile image

      Anon 5 years ago

      Plagiarized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Jeessicaaaaaaaaaaaa 5 years ago

      I like how you sited this and i can actually trust this, because its not like a lot of other bull i've read about caffine.

      Thanks ! very nicely written too :)

    • profile image

      Estelle 5 years ago

      Love it...coffee.. love it