Introduction To Healthy Effects Of Coffee
We are going to take a look at the many of health benefits of coffee. Are they true? Who says so? What are they?
Let’s lay out those 23 benefits for you right away. On good authority, coffee has shown:
The Demonstrated Health Benefits Of Coffee.
- 1. #1 source of antioxidants.
- 2. Protection against liver Cirrhosis.
- 3. Reduced risk of liver cancer.
- 4. Decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- 5. Decreased risk of Dementia.
- 6. Decreased risk of Diabetes Type 2.
- 7. Protection against Parkinson’s disease.
- 8. Decreased risk of heart attack.
- 9. Lower risk of clogged arteries.
- 10. Decrease workout muscle pain.
- 11. Increased physical performance and energy levels.
- 12. Reduced risk of Gout.
- 13. Reduced risk of some cancers.
- 14. Lower risk of Multiple Sclerosis.
- 15. Helps you burn fat by increasing your metabolism.
- 16. Provides essential vitamins and nutrients.
- 17. Provides stronger DNA.
- 18. Coffee can help you live longer in general.
- 19.Coffee can prevent retinal damage.
- 20. Decreases risk of depression.
- 21.Coffee may prevent cavities and periodontal disease.
- 22.USDA recommends it for inclusion in the diet.
- 23. Decreases suicide risk and ideation.
Let’s start our talk about coffee with a brief background.
Coffee is one of the few beverages that is consumed world-wide. It is consumed in most countries of the world. Coffee is probably one of the most popular beverages consumed by adults.
Why? Probably because it tastes so good and has been known since ancient times to have a little “kick”, stimulant effect. It was also reported to have medicinal effects, and in some cultures was revered as a sacred beverage.
Coffee is the second most widely traded commodity in the world (behind petroleum) and one of the most widely consumed beverages. It may be a world commodity that is second only to oil, but an excellent cup of coffee tastes a lot better than an excellent cup of petroleum. And, in today's world of high fuel prices, a lot more fun to consume.
It is only within recent times that studies have been undertaken to prove the various reported healthy benefits of coffee, (or in some cases to debunk them). A funny thing happened, the more studies that were undertaken, the better coffee appeared for you
We’re going to take a thorough walk at the health benefits of coffee. The general consensus is the coffee provides a large number of health benefits.
How Are Health Benefit Claims Of Coffee Proven?
Who says coffee is healthy? Me? Your uncle Phil? Or doctors who have conducted peer-reviewed research and authoritative sources such as Web M.D., the World Health Organization, or the United States Public health service?
Where can we get good information, which is not hearsay, or people simply parroting what others have said?
When examining matters and doing research on the Internet or anywhere it is extremely important to look at credibility of your sources. I am blessed, (or cursed), with an insatiable curiosity and desire to learn new things. This quality evidenced itself in my attending a few universities in acquiring a couple of degrees. I learned to ask questions.
Part of the that success school and assuming the responsibility of passing information on to you, is to make sure that is based on fact not conjecture. Since we will be taking an in-depth look at the health benefits of coffee, whenever possible, sources of the information will be given.
Let’s cut to the chase, and flat out tell you, the coffee is a healthy drink and offers numerous health benefits. It is been demonstrated to prevent illnesses and help alleviate symptoms of others.
Let’s take a take a look at good video:
Are the health claims of coffee authoritatively and scientifically proven?
Or, is it just hearsay and myth? In this post we strived to look for credible evidence to back up these claims.
Scientists and researchers may come up with a theory and test it out according to accepted scientific oh principles. This is called conducting a study or trial. They will impartially review the results of their study and theory, form a conclusion, and then publish it in a “peer-reviewed” journal.
Then, scientists (peers), in the same field will examine the study for validity. The “gold standard” is when other scientists can duplicate the results of the study on a consistent basis.
Here's more on meta studies. For example, let's pretend 100 studies have been conducted on the effect of a new fat burner on weight loss. Each will have reached a conclusion.
A meta study will look at ALL the studies. The meta study might say something to the effect of “based on a survey of 100 studies, 33% of the studies supported the fat burner for losing weight, 60% of the studies showed it had no effect and 7% showed weight increased. A peer-reviewed study lends authority.
A ‘meta study’ pulls conclusions together and is super authoritative. If an idea is extremely well researched there will be a number of meta studies which can be pulled together in an umbrella study. It is kind of like the grandfather authority of a single study.
Why are we going through an introductory course in scientific studies?
Because here’s the definitive proof that coffee has significant health benefits:
These were not just a couple of isolated health benefits. The positive effects of coffee were in virtually every category that was studied.
There were two notable exceptions: pregnant women and women who are subject to week, easily broken bones.
What Is Moderate Coffee Drinking? How Many Cups Of Coffee Is Too Much?
A distinction must be made when we look at the idea of how much coffee is too much. The real culprit here is not necessarily coffee but the caffeine within the coffee.
To put it bluntly, too much caffeine is not necessarily a good thing. We are not holding coffee solely responsible for caffeine intake.
There are a number of other sources of caffeine in the typical American diet such as chocolate, energy drinks such as Red Bull or 5 Hour Energy Shot, soda pop, and ended.
Interestingly enough, a number of studies show that the health affects are still present even through decaffeinated coffee. Naturally, you won’t get the stimulant bars decaffeinated coffee brings. However, you won’t be cheated out of the health benefits because of your preference for decaffeinated coffee.
In the umbrella study we were looking at previously, researchers discovered that almost all of the individual studies were based on moderate amounts of coffee.
The study was based on moderate intake of coffee, about 400 mg of caffeine per day equals approximately four or five standard cups.
The outside high range coffee consumption studied was 7 cups per day.
Coffee consumption seems generally safe within usual levels of intake, with summary estimates indicating largest risk reduction for various health benefits at three to four cups a day, and more likely to benefit health than harm. However much as been written on dependence and addiction to coffee if it is excessive consistantly.
Principle Actions of Coffee – What Does It Do?
Discussing what coffee does to your body we can start with the blindingly obvious.
- It tastes good.
- Peps you up.
- It makes you feel good.
Pretty simple, right? Not really, there is a lot going on under the surface you need to know about.
Before we take a more in-depth look at what happens when you drink a cup of coffee.
Lets look at a short video that simply explains ‘Your Brain On Coffee’:
How Does Coffee Interact With The Brain?
- The principle action of coffee/caffeine is in the brain. Caffeine is an active ingredient in coffee. It hits your bloodstream. Then, like any drug it passes to the brain and has some effects. Caffeine is a stimulant the central nervous system. That gives you an energy boost.
- Caffeine affects the chemical functioning in the brain. Caffeine blocks the action of Adenosine which is a inhibitory neurotransmitter. This leads the brain producing more “feel-good chemicals” such as dopamine and norepinephrine. These can affect other brain functions such as memory, mood and cognitive function.
- Coffee can stimulate the signals for hormone production. Caffeine has been shown to increase epinephrine which is a form of adrenaline. The release of adrenaline in your body increases physical performance.
- Antioxidant production. The active constituent in coffee that is responsible for its many health benefits is a compound called chlorogenic acid. It neutralizes free radicals, and addresses the problem of hydroxyl radicals, both of which can lead to cellular degeneration if left unchecked. Chlorogenic acid also helps regulate metabolism.
Are Antioxidants Found In Coffee? Absolutely
Antioxidants essentially protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules. If the body is damaged by free radicals it becomes a factor in the development of cancer, atherosclerosis - which is blood vessel disease & other conditions.
There is also an increasing body of evidence it states antioxidants may be a preventative measure for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and macular degeneration.
The best source of antioxidants is fresh fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately the modern American diet is composed of less than 10% of these. Strangely enough, the largest source of antioxidants in the United States, without a doubt is now caffeine.
Now let's be clear: that does not mean that your morning coffee is a substitute for fruits and vegetables. But serious java drinkers will surely get a jolt from the news that coffee is a top resource of disease-fighting antioxidants.
Coffee As A Protective Factor In Liver Hepatitis, Fatty Liver Disease And Cirrhosis:
The liver is a regulatory organ in the body that oversees many functions. Several conditions can seriously impair and damage it, such as hepatitis, of fatty liver; these can lead to liver cirrhosis.
Check out the video below on coffee & the liver.
A 10-year-old study determined “that there is an ingredient in coffee that protects against cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis.” Another study showed that the risk of cirrhosis decreased by about 80% by drinking four or more cups of coffee per day.
Interestingly, on the subject of caffeine and liver disease, other studies have indicated it may in fact support liver health for some people. Those who were at high risk of developing liver disease due to drinking too much alcohol were found less likely to suffer liver damage if they drank more than two cups of coffee or tea a day.
This was a population based study, not a clinical trial, and so is not conclusive on the subject. But it does offer some promising information.
Those drinking in excess of two cups or more a day were half as likely to develop liver disease compared to those drinking less than one cup a day. Researchers do not know what caused this protective effect.
Coffee As A Protective Factor In Alzheimer’s Disease:
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that is irreversible.
It alters and inhibits thinking, memory, and eventually makes it almost impossible to carry out the simplest of tasks. Alzheimer’s is the number one neurodegenerative disease in the world.
It is the primary cause of dementia in older adults.
Check out the video for more information on the relationship between coffee and Alzheimer's.
Alzheimer’s is the result of damage neurons in the brain whose function it is to transmit messages from different parts of the brain. These messages make their way to organs and muscles in the body.
The damage to the neurons is suspected to take place in the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that is crucial in forming memories both long-term and short-term memory.
One of the obvious signs of Alzheimer’s is memory dysfunction. It is interesting to note that in additional to chemical malfunctions the brain is damaged physically in that the brain tissue in the final stages has shrunk significantly.
Coffee As A Protective Factor In Parkinson’s Disease:
Parkinson’s disease is a Neuro degenerative disease. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, right behind Alzheimers, the first.. The most common disease of this class is Alzheimer’s.
A neurodegenerative disease is one that affects the parts of your brain that controls motion, balance, and how you move.
The most common early sign of Parkinson’s is tremors. These can develop into a loss of control that affects sleep, walking, and cognitive functions.
Check out the video on the health effects of coffee on Parkinsons:
Dopamine is not only a “feel-good” chemical your brain produces that can produce positive feelings, but it is also a chemical messenger.
The second purpose of dopamine is to be a messenger to the part of your brain that controls movement.
If you have Parkinson’s disease the part of the brain where the dopamine messages are sent to the substansia nigra, starts to lose its function. The dopamine levels drop as does their effectiveness.
The initial onset of this phenomena can be very subtle you may not even notice it happening until the symptoms become very obvious.
Coffee stimulates dopamine production. Coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of the development of Parkinson’s disease.
A meta study in the scientific journal Annals of Neurology indicates the risk reduction can be from 30% to 60%.
Just to be clear these effects concern the caffeine in the coffee. People who drink decaf coffee do not get the same preventative effects
How Does Coffee Decrease The Risk Of Type II Diabetes?
The truthful answer is medical professionals and researchers really don’t know how. But what they do know, is that it it absolutely works.
It is also reported in JAMA the Journal of the American Medical Association, a meta study showed the risk can be decreased by 7% for each cup of coffee drank daily.
Check out the video on health benefits of coffee on type 2 Diabetes.
Coffee As A Protective Factor In Cardiovascular (Heart) Disease:
How does coffee work as a protective mechanism in harder cardiovascular disease? The answer once again, is that scientists really aren’t sure.
One thing that has been extensively studied and learned is the fact that coffee is not detrimental to the cardiovascular system.
There are other demonstrated positive or protective effects of drinking coffee on the cardiovascular system.
Numerous additional studies show that there is reduction in the possibility of stroke and heart failure.
One very interesting study showed that certain kinds of coffee under certain conditions, can increase the production of endothelial cells lining your arteries.
When these cells are healthy, the interior of your arteries allow blood to flow more smoothly. Therefore, the heart doesn’t have to work as hard pushing the blood through your system.
That decreases the risk of developing antherosclerosis, which is essentially a fancy name for fatty deposits inside your arteries that can clog them.
Just like an engine makes a car go, your heart keeps your body running. As you grow older, some changes in the heart and blood vessels are normal, but others are caused by disease.
Check out the video below which details the cardiovascular system and coffee consumption.
Increased Physical Performance And Energy Levels.
A lot of people drink coffee for quick pick me up. But there is a lot more going on under the surface.
Caffeine, which is pretty much the primary activating agent in coffee has been proven to be responsible for higher energy levels in improved physical performance.
Caffeine also has the additional benefit of affecting more than one part of your brain and body.
There are several effects that can increase physical performance and energy:
- Caffeine activates parts of the brain which increase alertness.
- It releases endorphins in the brain which is a “feel-good” chemical.
- It can help people get in the zone or require that exercise high..
- Caffeine also releases dopamine which is another “feel-good” chemical but also is responsible for transmitting movement messages through neurons.
- Caffeine has been shown to be helpful in breaking down in burning fat cells.
There are numerous studies with athletes to demonstrate measurable if not significant performance in endurance due to caffeine.
Check out this video.
Coffee Decreases Depression And Suicide Risk.
A very interesting, huge longitudinal (which means the subjects were followed over several years vs 1 point in time) research study of over 50,000 women came to the following conclusion: “In this large longitudinal study we found that depression risk decreases with increasing caffeinated coffee consumption.”
The Harvard Gazette reported that the Harvard School of Public Health performed a study which looked at over 200,000 peoplea nd was published in the World Journal Of Biological Psychiatry. Their conclusion was:
"Unlike previous investigations, we were able to assess association of consumption of caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, and we identify caffeine as the most likely candidate of any putative protective effect of coffee.”
In plain language, they figured out that drinking several cups of coffee on a daily basis appears to reduce the risk of suicide men and women by about 50%.
They came to that conclusion by reviewing (meta study) three large United States studies.
These studies found that not only was caffeine the central nervous system stimulant which we expect, but coffee may act as a mild antidepressant by boosting the production of some neurotransmitters in the brain. The neurotransmitters they were looking at include dopamine, noradrenalin, and serotonin.
They suggest that the natural anti-depressant producedcould explain the lower risk of depression and suicide ideation and risk.
Check out this video on the relationship between coffee and depression.
Does Coffee Help You Lose Weight By Burning Fat?.
This is a pretty tricky question to answer. I can just picture some new fasting diet were all you do is drink a gallon of coffee a day with promises of losing 10 pounds in a week.
That just won’t happen. The real answer is that the caffeine in coffee does stimulate your metabolism. May assist in burning fat slightly. By that we mean that it will not be detrimental to a diet, but coffee consumption will not be a cornerstone in significant weight loss.
There is no question about it caffeine by its very nature is a central nervous system stimulant. In other words, speeds up your body’s metabolism.
Logically, one would think that an accelerated metabolism would be burning fat at a more rapid rate. Using caffeine alone, this is true only to a certain point.
There is a substance in coffee called chlorogenic acid which can affect glucose and carbohydrate absorption. One study published by NIH, the National Institutes Of Health. Came to the conclusion that
"This effect, if the coffee is used for an extended time, may result in reduced body mass and body fat."
We had previously mentioned that caffeine stimulates the development of epinephrine. One of the functions of epinephrine is to interact with fat tissues and cells sending the message to break them down.
There is no question that caffeine increases the metabolic rate and oddly enough, this increase in metabolic rate comes largely through the breakdown of fat cells.
Check out this video on fat burning and coffee.
Coffee Provides Essential Vitamins And Nutrients.
Coffee may never replace fresh fruits, vegetables and salad bars providing macro and micro nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is not however, completely without some benefits:
Coffee provides antioxidants - these are definitely a good thing happen your body. As stated previously, coffee is far and away, without a doubt the largest single source of antioxidants in the modern diet.
A medium size (8 ounce) cup of coffee provides the following:
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) - .2 milligrams which is about 11% of the minimum daily requirement. Vitamin B2 provides an assist, like a turbocharger in certain reactions in the body.These reactions help the breakdown of nutrients from the food you consume.
Niacin (vitamin B3) - .5 milligrams which is about 2% of the minimum daily requirement. This vitamin is instrumental in assisting with many bodily processes. It can help use arthritis, boost cognitive function in the brain, and ease arthritis.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) - .06 milligrams which is about 6% of the daily requirement. Vitamin B5 like all the B vitamins helps the body break down food and produce energy. Vitamin B5 is used in the production of coenzyme A (CoA). CoA is important in the biosynthesis of many important compounds such as fatty acids, cholesterol, and acetylcholine.
Calcium coffee contains 5 mg of calcium which is just a trace amount. Calcium’s function in the body is basically to keep your teeth and bones strong it up so plays a key role in muscle control in blood clotting.
Magnesium coffee contains 7 milligrams of magnesium, which is really just a trace amount (about 1% of the minimum daily requirement, but hey every little bit counts) which is an essential mineral that helps the functioning of your heart and stabilizes its rhythm. It is also found in bones and teeth.
Potassium coffee contains approximately 116 mg of potassium which is about 3% of the minimum daily requirement. Potassium is a mineral that reacts vigorously with water. It is therefore classified as an electrolyte. This assists your body and its ability to produce an electrical charge which is crucial in many cellular functions.
Summary and Conclusion:
This post was a monster to research and to write. My curiosity took me down many paths. The result of my wanderings and explorations resulted in the conclusion that coffee is a lot more beneficial than I had originally suspected.
Now, before we jump the gun and start drinking a gallon a day virtually all these conclusions, studies, and findings were based on moderate daily consumption.
Does coffee cure depression? Will it cause you to lose all the weight you want to? Will it solve heart problems, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, etc. the answer is not all by itself.
However there is an inescapable conclusion that coffee can provide some prevention of these conditions. It can also be an additional boost to your system.
This article is primarily focused on the health benefits of coffee. The other side of the coin, the health dangers of coffee will be examined in another article.
Can A Person Overdose By Drinking Coffee?
But before we sign off there is one myth that I would like to address and set aside is the idea that a person can overdose on coffee. Realistically, this is not possible.
Here is the math:
A coffee overdose would require 68 mg of caffeine per pound of your body weight. For an average man of 180 pounds that works out to about 12,240 mg. of caffeine.
The average cup of coffee contains a 95 - 200 mg of caffeine depending on the type of being, roast, and so on.
Let’s take 150 mg per cup as an average. Simply dividing 12,240 milligrams of coffee by 150 mg per cup equals approximately 82 cups of coffee.
82 cups of coffee would have to be consumed all at once. Other symptoms such as of drinking so much liquid would overtake you before the caffeine would.
We really hope you enjoyed this article on the health benefits of coffee. As we promised we tried to present information was verifiable by clinical trials and studies were possible. If we weren’t able to locate the studies at least we got to the credibility of the source.
As I was preparing this article I kept an eye out for the negative effects of coffee drinking which will be written about in the future.
In researching the health benefits and getting a sampling of the health detriments to drinking coffee it became clear that the benefits far outweighed the detriments.
We hope this allows you to enjoy drinking coffee in moderation and with a clear conscience for a long time to come.
Here Are Some Resources Used For Ideas:
JAMA the Journal of the American Medical Association
Coffee Lover's Accessories:
Here are some gift ideas to help make your coffee experiences richer. We selected these gifts based on practicality and usefulness any coffee lover would appreciate.
1. Ground Coffee Dispenser. No need to measure every time.Designed to measure one tablespoon at a time, the dispenser can be used to place ground coffee directly into coffee makers or espresso machines. It is constructed to keep ground coffee fresh for maximum flavor, and the included base keeps counter tops clean of ground coffee spills. Holds up to half a pound of ground coffee. Click & Check it out here. Image below.
2. Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale An accurate scale is a must for precision coffee making and coffee bean roasting. This is a top seller. Precision Tare Button calculates the net weight of your ingredients by automatically subtracting the weight of any bowl or container.Runs on 2 AAA batteries (included) that automatically power-off after 2-minutes to preserve battery life. Click & Check it out here. Image below.
3. Grey Iced Coffee Maker - Travel Mug Pour hot coffee in - get iced coffee out. Make chilled iced coffee or tea in as little as 5 minutes, no ice needed and it works with any brewing method, including single cup machines, drip, and pour over methods 4 designer colors to choose from. Click & Check it out here. Image below.
4. Portable Cup Holder With Clamp - Durable, Portable, and Foldable! This is not cheap plastic - it is aluminum with great clamping power. It fits many sizes of cups and appears safe and secure when holding a 32oz filled cup, a mug (up to 3" in diameter), a thermos, a water bottle, or a soda can. Click & Check it out here. Image below.
Zevro Indispensable Coffee Dispenser, Silver - 1/2 PoundOzeri Pronto Digital Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant BlackZoku Grey Iced Coffee Maker, Travel Mug - Hot Coffee In - Iced Coffee OutCup Holder Desk Clip Silver - Durable, Portable, and Foldable!