The Science of Coffee: Exploring the Proven Health Benefits of Your Favorite Beverage

The Science of Coffee: Exploring the Proven Health Benefits of Your Favorite Beverage

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, consumed by millions of people every day. But beyond its rich and complex flavor, coffee has also been the subject of extensive scientific research, which has revealed a number of proven health benefits. We'll explore here some of the most well-established benefits of coffee, based on peer-reviewed research and reputable sources.

 

Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes (1): Several studies have found that coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One meta-analysis of 18 studies involving a total of over 450,000 participants found that every additional cup of coffee consumed in a day was associated with a 7% reduction in the excess risk of diabetes relative risk.

Improved Cognitive Function (2): Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that can improve cognitive function, including alertness, attention, and reaction time. A moderate dose of caffeine (200 mg) improves cognitive performance while performing a task requiring sustained attention.

Lower Risk of Certain Cancers (3): Some studies have found that coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer, including liver and colorectal cancer. In one meta-analysis, higher coffee consumption was associated with a 40% lower risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC).

Reduced Risk of Parkinson's Disease (4): Coffee consumption is also associated with a reduced risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disorder. A meta-analysis involving 28 studies with a combined sum of 1,739,383 people indicated a maximum protection against Parkinson's Disease with a coffee consumption of approximately 3 cups / day.

Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease (5): There have also been several studies investigating the potential association between coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease risk. A systematic review and meta-analysis of 36 prospective cohort studies published in 2014 found that moderate coffee consumption (3-5 cups per day) was associated with the lowest risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). Other studies, however, found limited statistical association indicating the need of additional high-quality studies. Overall, the evidence regarding coffee and cardiovascular disease risk is evolving, and more research is needed to fully understand the potential impact of coffee consumption on heart health.

 

When seriously discussing science, we must always note that statistical associations can vary depending on different factors, including individual characteristics such as: age, sex, and overall health status. Moderate consumption is alsways the way to go, and for the case of coffee, excessive caffeine consumption can lead to negative side effects like anxiety, insomnia, or gastrointestinal discomfort.

Our intention with this blog is to provide to our readers a high level view of how seriously coffee has been and continue being evaluated. Well-established health benefits of moderate consumption are multiple! Enjoy the wide range of benefits offered by a good cup of coffee.

 

 

Would you like to know more? See additional readings below.

 

References:

(1) Huxley R, Lee CM, Barzi F, Timmermeister L, Czernichow S, Perkovic V, et al. Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(22):2053-63.

 

(2) Haskell CF, Kennedy DO, Wesnes KA, Scholey AB. Cognitive and mood improvements of caffeine in habitual consumers and habitual non-consumers of caffeine. Psychopharmacology. 2005;179(4):813-25.

 

(3) Bravi F, Bosetti C, Tavani A, Gallus S, La Vecchia C. Coffee reduces risk for hepatocellular carcinoma: an updated meta-analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11(11):1413-1421.e1.

 

(4) Qi H, Li S. Dose-response meta-analysis on coffee, tea and caffeine consumption with risk of Parkinson's disease. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2014 Apr;14(2):430-9. doi: 10.1111/ggi.12123.

 

(5) Ding M, Bhupathiraju SN, Satija A, van Dam RM, Hu FB. Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Circulation. 2014;129(6):643-59.

 

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