Is Coffee Bad for You?
It is frequently asked is coffee bad for you? Coffee has both negative and positive aspects. Negative aspects are usually related to over-consumption and poor sources of coffee while positive points are much more than the negative. Coffee appears to affect multiple aspects of human health, but the most important thing to consider with coffee is the amount and frequency of consumption.
Reduction of Health Risks Associated with Coffee
Concerning the question, is coffee bad for you, the answer is no but precautions are required. Coffee has many health benefits for the body. Coffee reduces the risk of many diseases. Studies show that coffee decrease the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. In a study published in the Journal Diabetes Care, researchers show that six cups of coffee in a day decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes up to 30 percent. Coffee can be either caffeinated or decaffeinated. Now granted, 6 cups of coffee per day is probably more than is advised to be consumed, but when you consider that a cup is only 5 ounces, 30 ounces of coffee is not out of the realm of consumption for some.
The other major disease where coffee has shown benefit is cancer. Coffee helps to protect the body against many cancers like skin cancer, liver cancer, a kind of breast cancer called estrogen receptor –negative breast cancer and aggressive prostate cancer. Researches show that proper use of the coffee can reduce the risk of such cancers.
Drinking coffee might also help to reduce depression and cognitive loss during Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Because of its neuro-stimulatory effects, coffee may also help with depression to a mild degree. Yet the benefits do not end here as coffee may also reduce fatigue and enhance some of the positive effects of exercise, including fat burning. Quality sources of coffee will also contain antioxidants, the compounds that keep inflammation to a minimum.
Coffee ironically reasonably decreases the risk of depression. A study at Harvard University published in 2011, shows that women drinking 4 cups of coffee a day had 20 % less risk of depression and lived healthier lives. Another study shows that persons drinking three to four cups of coffee in a day were 53% less likely to commit suicide. While this information is correlational and not suggestive of direct cause and effect, it does draw some interesting, and unexpected, conclusions.
More Facts to Determine if Coffee is Good for You
It is a general concept that drinking coffee can cause dehydration, but some studies have shown that there is only a small difference in the hydration status between those that consume higher amounts of coffee and those who don’t consume coffee. A study published in the journal PLoS One shows no evidence of dehydration is observed with coffee intake when the total amount of caffeine does not exceed that found in 3-6 cups of coffee. This study was conduct to compare the effects of coffee consumption against water ingestion (No evidence of dehydration with moderate daily coffee intake).
Another study shows the same results comparing caffeine and fluid balance. Caffeine has methylxanthine compounds which are diuretics and in persons where fluid balanced is compromised are advised to avoid these beverages. Although when coffee totals more than six cups per day, this can cause dehydration in some cases, especially those individuals that are not routine coffee consumers.
Liver is among the most important organs in the body performing a number of functions. Several diseases and symptoms may be attributable to liver dysfunction. Research show that persons drinking up to four cups a day decrease the risk of liver dysfunction up to 80 %, including in those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
However, nature seems to persist on the concept of moderation. Coffee is no exception. Research shows that coffee has some effects that may make routine consumption less than ideal. A woman drinking more than five cups of coffee can have problems during the pregnancy as caffeine present in coffee crosses the placental barrier and reaches the fetus. While the effects are not clearly defined, routine exposure of such a compound to a fetus in the developing state still has unanswered questions. Due to the nature of the research that is needed to answer such a question, we are likely to have an answer anytime soon.
Important Facts to Consider
The major component of coffee that interests most people is caffeine which is known for its effects on the central nervous system. It can charge the brain and help promote work efficiency while also short term reduction of anxiety and tension for some.
The answer to the question, is coffee bad for you, does not have a universal answer. However, it does seem to matter how much you consume. Drinking more than 6 cups a day can have negative effects on physical as well as mental health. The common possible effects on health include:
- Stomach issues
- Heart beat rapidness
- Muscle tremors
An important finding to note is studies show that for those who metabolism caffeine slowly, drinking coffee can increase the nonfatal heart attack. A study published by the American Medical Association found that risk of nonfatal heart attack increases in slow metabolizers of caffeine.
One of the more benign, but relevant, facts of coffee, and more specifically caffeine, are the possible effects we associated with withdrawal. Foremost, if you are having withdrawal symptoms, it probably is a safe bet that you are consuming too much coffee. It is not an easy for most to decrease of even stop drinking coffee suddenly. The withdrawal symptoms if caffeine can be long lasting and are includes headache, irritability, depression, mood disturbance, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.
In summary, coffee consumption in moderation appears to have some long lasting health benefits, including improved glucose regulation. However, there are two important points to remember with regards to coffee consumption. Foremost, coffee contains caffeine, but not all of the health benefits related to coffee are attributable to caffeine. Some are related to chlorogenic acid, trigonelline and antioxidants. Second, more is not always better. The general consensus at this time appears to be that while coffee consumption does appear to offer some benefits, over-consumption may swing the pendulum in the wrong direction and begin to rob you of some of the acquired benefits. And as with all foods and liquids that you ingest, coffee should be as free of toxins as possible. So when you buy it, buy organic from trusted sources.
No evidence of dehydration with moderate daily coffee intake: a counterbalanced cross-over study in a free-living population.
Caffeine ingestion and fluid balance: a review.
Caffeine and diuresis during rest and exercise: A meta-analysis.
Acute effects of decaffeinated coffee and the major coffee components chlorogenic acid and trigonelline on glucose tolerance.
Coffee consumption and risk of incident gout in women: the Nurses’ Health Study.
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