The myriad health benefits of starting your day sipping your daily cup of joe outnumber the few adverse effects of drinking one of the world’s most favorite sources of a caffeine fix. Here are ten vital insights from various studies involving coffee’s impact on health and well-being.
There is an established link between longer life and coffee consumption, according to a large-scale study published in a 2017 issue of the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine. The two relevant papers were “Coffee Drinking and Mortality in 10 European Countries: A Multinational Cohort Study” and “Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Nonwhite Populations.” Compared to people who do not drink coffee, those who drank one cup a day had a 12-percent reduced possibility of death. Three-cups-a-day individuals are 18 percent less likely to die. And this lowered mortality rate is seen on both regular and decaf coffee drinkers, suggesting that caffeine does not contribute to coffee’s positive impact on longevity.
Type 2 Diabetes
Drinking an average of 1.5 cups (around 360 ml) of coffee daily for four years decreases by 11 percent your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is according to “Changes in coffee intake and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes: three large cohorts of US men and women,” which is published in an issue of Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. The reduced type 2 diabetes risk has only been observed among caffeinated coffee drinkers. The findings were, of course, independent of other dietary factors and the amount of coffee consumed before the four-year observation period.
Studies after studies have supported coffee’s positive role in protecting the liver. From liver cancer to cirrhosis patients, coffee drinking has an impact on disease progression and prognosis.
The most widespread type of liver cancer is called hepatocellular carcinoma. Regular coffee drinking decreases by around 40 percent the risk of developing it, according to the study results of “Coffee Reduces Risk for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: An Updated Meta-analysis,” which can be found in an issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. Additionally, increasing coffee intake to three cups a day further lowers the hepatocellular carcinoma risk by over 50 percent.
Drinking two or more cups of coffee every day lowers by 66 percent your risk of dying from liver cirrhosis caused by non-viral hepatitis. This is according to “Coffee, alcohol and other beverages in relation to cirrhosis mortality: the Singapore Chinese Health Study,” a paper which appears in an issue of Hepatology, the journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
Additional clinical research findings on coffee drinking and liver health can be found in “Coffee and herbal tea consumption is associated with lower liver stiffness in the general population: The Rotterdam study,” a paper published in a 2017 issue of the Journal of Hepatology. A promising deterrent against advanced liver fibrosis, or the scarring of liver tissues because of chronic inflammation usually brought about by unhealthy lifestyles, a few cups of coffee or tea every day can prevent liver stiffness or hardening.
Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston published “A Role of Caffeine Intake on Erectile Dysfunction in US Men: Results from NHANES 2001-2004” in an issue of the journal PLOS ONE. In this paper, they detailed their findings on coffee-drinking men being less likely to develop erectile dysfunction (ED) compared to those who rarely or do not drink coffee at all.
A strong link has been found between regular intake of caffeinated coffee and lowered oral/pharyngeal cancer mortality rate, according to the paper “Coffee, Tea, and Fatal Oral/Pharyngeal Cancer in a Large Prospective US Cohort,” which appeared in an issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. Compared to occasional or non-drinkers, those who consumed four cups of caffeinated coffee daily had an estimated 50-percent reduced mortality risk from these ordinarily lethal types of cancers.
A troubling link between caffeinated coffee intake and vision loss has been laid out in the paper, “The Relationship between Caffeine and Coffee Consumption and Exfoliation Glaucoma or Glaucoma Suspect: A Prospective Study in Two Cohorts,” published in the journal, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Compared to non-drinkers, those who consumed three or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day increased their susceptibility to either glaucoma suspect or exfoliation glaucoma.
A large-scale study–involving thousands of participants, all free of heart disease and cancer, throughout a thirteen-year follow-up period–was able to show lowered risk for stroke among people who drank coffee or green tea daily. The clinical findings were detailed in an issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Compared to occasional or non-drinkers, those who have at least a cup a day can minimize by 20 percent their risk for stroke and 32 percent for intracerebral hemorrhage, or the brain’s blood vessels bursting and bleeding out.
It only takes two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day to prevent cognitive decline and the development of dementia. This is one of the practical findings of “Relationships Between Caffeine Intake and Risk for Probable Dementia or Global Cognitive Impairment: The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study,” a paper published in a 2016 issue of The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. The results of this large-scale study on postmenopausal women and their caffeine intake have great implications for avid coffee drinkers who may be at risk for dementia later in life.
Your daily coffee routine is keeping you healthy in more ways than one. So, keep enjoying it–in moderation of course.