Proven Health Benefits of Coffee and Caffeine Based on Scientific Evidence

Coffee is a tasty beverage that is surprisingly good for you. Research into the health benefits of coffee has found that coffee is filled with antioxidants and nutrients that can benefit your health. Drinking coffee in moderate amounts is good for your health since it can help to improve your alertness, increase energy levels, and improve cognitive function.

What is Coffee

Coffee is a dark, bitter drink made from roasted coffee beans that grow on the Coffea plant. Coffee beans are actually seeds, and these are roasted to different degrees to create various coffee roasts. Coffee is best known for its stimulating effect due to caffeine.

Nutritional Value of Coffee

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one cup of coffee contains B-group vitamins with riboflavin being the highest. 2 cups of coffee a day will give you 0.4 mg riboflavin which is 22 percent of your recommended daily intake (RDI). Coffee also contains trace elements of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

One of the main reasons why one or two cups of coffee per day is good for you is that coffee contains antioxidants. Research into coffee has revealed that certain acids like caffeic acid are strong antioxidants. Also, roasting coffee beans increases the levels of the amino acid phenylalanine which has high antioxidant activity.

Is Coffee Good for You? Health Benefits of Coffee

What is coffee good for? Research published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition reports that coffee has many health-promoting benefits. Coffee is good for improving brain health, protecting against diabetes symptoms, and has detoxifying properties.

Drinking Coffee Increases Longevity

The journal of Annals of Internal Medicine published 2 large studies on 2017 which found a link between drinking coffee and reduced mortality. Both studies included a huge number of participants and lasted more than 16 years.

The first study found that people who drank two to four cups of coffee per day had lower risk of death compared with those who didn’t drink coffee at all. It was found that drinking more coffee reduced the chances of death from heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer.

The second study found that those who drank more coffee had less chance to die during the study period when compared to non-drinkers. It should be noted that both studies found similar results for people who drank decaffeinated coffee.

Coffee Helps to Keep you Alert and Increases Attention

A 2017 study found that caffeine has a positive effect on alertness and attention. In the study, adults were given coffee sachets with some containing caffeine and others containing decaffeinated coffee. The trial found that consuming coffee with caffeine had a direct effect on attention and alertness.

Research also points to the fact that there may be an optimal amount of coffee that can improve cognitive function. For example, one study found that 200 mg of caffeine was most effective at affecting dopamine levels in the brain.

Coffee Is Good for Helping to Burn Fat

The reason that coffee helps to lose weight is that coffee helps to increase energy expenditure. For example, a study found that one cup of coffee helps to increase the metabolism in humans. This helped previously obese adults burn up to 79 kcal more a day and had an anti-obesity effect.

There is also evidence that drinking 2 or 3 cups of coffee can help manage weight loss better. One trial involving over 2,000 individuals found that people who consumed more coffee found it easier to maintain weight loss.

Coffee Consumption Can Improve Your Energy Levels and Stamina

For example, one study involving sedentary men found that consuming caffeinated coffee improved energy utilization. The research found that coffee is an ergogenic aid and helps to increase physical performance.

Coffee Is Good for Your Brain

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported that drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day can help to decrease a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that coffee had a better effect than black tea at preventing cognitive decline.

Coffee contains biochemicals that inhibit certain receptors in the brain and increase levels of dopamine. Scientists have linked low dopamine levels in the brain with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Coffee Boosts Your Mood and Has an Anti-Depressant Effect

A 2016 meta-analysis of observational studies involving over 300,000 persons found that regular coffee consumption is linked with decreased instances of depression. Scientists found that drinking between one and 5 cups of coffee a day had a significant effect on preventing depression.

One study found that women who drink 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day suffer less from depression than those who rarely drink coffee. Researchers suggested that coffee drinking could help prevent depression.

2016 study from South Korea found that high intakes of caffeine are linked with an increased risk of depression and insomnia.

Coffee May Be Good for Your Liver’s Health

A study of men with chronic hepatitis C virus found that just one cup of coffee a day containing 100 mg of caffeine can prevent scarring of liver tissue. Scientists concluded that drinking coffee every day has health benefits if you have chronic liver disease.

Coffee Helps Manage Symptoms of Diabetes

A review of the effects of coffee on people with type-2 diabetes found that coffee affects glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, and glucose absorption. A cohort study on drinking coffee every day found that both regular coffee and decaffeinated coffee help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Coffee Drinking Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

A meta-analysis examining the results of 36 studies involving over 1,000,000 persons did not find a link between coffee consumption and an increased risk of heart disease. Researchers found that drinking between 3 and 5 cups of coffee a day did not elevate your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Research from Japan found that increased coffee consumption also lowered a person’s risk of stroke. Consuming 1 or 2 cups of coffee a day up to 6 times a week can reduce your risk of various types of cardiovascular disease.

Coffee Is Good for Male Sexual Health

A survey published in the journal PLoS One involving over 3,700 men found that regular coffee drinking can prevent erectile dysfunction. The survey found that men who consumed 2 cups of coffee a day reported fewer instances of erectile problems.

Coffee May Reduce Your Risk of Kidney Stones

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that studies involving over 200,000 adults showed that consuming coffee daily can lower your risk of kidney stones by 26%. Coffee consumption also lowered oxalate and uric acid level which helps to prevent kidney stones from forming.

Coffee Can Help Prevent Gout

Researchers found that long-term coffee consumption helps to lower the risk of gout in women. The study examined the effects of drinking coffee every day over a 26-year period. Those women who regularly consumed coffee daily reported fewer cases of gout compared to non-coffee drinkers.

Coffee Has Antioxidants and May Protect You Against Cancer

A meta-analysis of many studies into the protective effect of coffee on cancer found that by increasing coffee intake to 2 cups a day you can lower your risk of certain cancers. Consuming more coffee daily has been linked to helping prevent liver, prostate, endometrial, colon cancer, and melanoma.

How Much Coffee to Drink Daily

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that consuming caffeine up to 400 mg per day is safe for most adults. Depending on the type of coffee and brewing methods, it should be safe to drink between 2 and 4 cups of coffee every day.

Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Coffee

Drinking more than 4 cups of strong coffee a day can be bad for your health because it can cause a number of side effects. Also, depending on how your body responds to caffeine, drinking fewer cups of coffee may be better for you.

Coffee can raise blood pressure

A meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials found that drinking more than 3 cups of coffee a day can cause a slight rise in blood pressure.

Coffee can cause insomnia

The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reported that the stimulating effects of caffeine can last for up to 6 hours. Researchers found that even a moderate dose of caffeine 3 or 6 hours before going to bed can cause sleep disturbance.

Coffee is addictive

The Journal of Caffeine Research reported that people dependent on coffee can find it difficult to cut down on coffee consumption. Scientists warn that drinking 5 or more cups of coffee a day  can lead to addiction and other negative health consequences.

Coffee can cause digestive problems

A study into the effect of coffee on the gastrointestinal system found that coffee can stimulate symptoms of acid reflux.

If you suffer from gallstones, drinking coffee could aggravate your symptoms. Coffee also acts as a natural laxative in some people

Coffee may slightly increase cholesterol levels

According to doctors on Mayo Clinic, high consumption of unfiltered coffee has been associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels.

The cholesterol-raising substances in coffee are called diterpenes, and the two main types in coffee are cafestol and kahweol. These are oily substances that most of them are trapped by a paper filter, so coffee that has been filtered has little, if any, effect on cholesterol levels. 

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