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Is Coffee Good For You?

Is coffee good for you? Is coffee bad for you? What are the health benefits of coffee? Are the health benefits of coffee real or myths?

Thousands of people ask these sorts of questions on Google every month. Clearly there is a need to know about the proposed health benefits of coffee. And this is where we hope to help.

We will explore some of the health benefits of coffee in this post and seek out scientific research that may support the various claims. After reading this post you should be able to answer the question ‘Is coffee good for you?’

First, a little background information.

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    Coffee The Marvellous Seed

    Few would deny that a cup of coffee is one helluva pick-me-up, especially after you awake in the morning. But as you will see, it isn’t all about the ‘buzz.’

    Coffee is the seed of the coffee berry (also called cherry) from the coffee plant.

    According to legend, an Ethiopian goatherd called Kaldi discovered coffee beans. He noticed that his goats became more energetic and refused to sleep after eating berries off a particular tree (guess what tree)?

    When monks from a nearby monastery heard of this, they started to roast, grind, and infuse the coffee beans in water. They soon found that this new beverage they created helped keeping them awake during long hours of prayer.

    Unfortunately, this strange little story is unsupported by any historical facts.

    Antony Wild in his book ‘Coffee a Dark History’ tells another story, supported by some circumstantial evidence, of Mohammed bin Sa’id al-Dhabhani as the ‘inventor’ of the coffee drink about 560 years ago.

    Mohammed bin Sa’id al-Dhabhani, also called Gemaleddin reportedly set out from Aden to visit Ethiopia as a missionary and returned to Aden with some coffee fruit. He first tried to brew the dried leaves of the fruit (a lesson he had learned from the Chinese).

    But he didn’t stop there. He also brewed the flesh of the cherry itself, and this made a much better drink compared with the dried leaves. This drink may have been the origin of Qishr a traditional hot drink in Yemen.

    Word of this strange brew soon spread, and by the 15th Century, coffee houses were commonplace in Iran, Turkey, and the Arab world. At the time, coffee houses were a place where folks went to discuss culture and the arts, and where merchants went to discuss business.

    By the 16th Century, coffee houses were flourishing in Venice, London, and Paris. In the US, the first coffee house opened its doors in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1689. This culture is still alive and kicking today in many parts of the world.

    Coffee is a Wordwide Culture

    Coffee is the third most consumed drink in the world after water (1st) and tea.

    Some may think that coffee is ‘just another drink,’ but as you will see, it is much more than that. Coffee has a natural aura and mystery about it.

    Coffee has been an enduring part of human history for over 560 years. It has been the subject of legend, conspiracy, debate, assault, and politics. Of course, coffee is also very much a part of our daily life.

    Coffee has tremendous economic benefits but may also contribute to controversial environmental and social issues.

    Coffee cultures have developed worldwide over the years. We want to appreciate our coffee not so much to be coffee connoisseurs but to experience the dizzying variety of flavor, aroma, and subtleness of our coffee. 

    Apart from the well-known buzz, we get from drinking coffee we are now finding that coffee has some amazing health benefits.

    The US Just Loves Coffee!

    According to National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT), about 63% of American adults drink coffee daily and 79% of American adults drink coffee over a year.

    In case you were wondering, the NCDT is a database that tracks coffee consumption trends in the United States (yes, there is such a thing)!

    The idea behind the NCDT report, which was first commissioned in 1950 by the National Coffee Association of USA, was to track people’s habits concerning the consumption of various coffee types.

    The study included different types of coffee drinks such as espresso, cappuccino, latte, café mocha, caffe Americano, cold brew coffee, flat white, decaffeinated, nitrogen carbonated coffee, and iced coffee. Phew!

    If you think it doesn’t get any weirder, it does. In 2006, the NCA also started profiling non-drinkers of coffee in the US, and that data was also a part of the NCDT report.

    So, now that we’ve proven (sort of) that everybody’s keeping tabs on us, let’s get back to business.

    The NCDT report is more than just a set of static statistics for your amusement. It is also a record of how coffee is consumed in the US. It looks at the behavioural changes in a population in a historical context that has led to coffee consumption being at an all-time high.

    Coffee is undoubtedly popular in the US but is only 18th on the international coffee drinking list as you can see from the infographic below. The data is from 2016/2017 but the ratings are likely to be similar for 2018/2019.

    Infographic: Europe and North America's Top Coffee-Drinking Nations | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

    However, when we look at the list of countries that like to have their coffee on the go, then the US is 2nd on the list!

    Coffee is absolutely an integral part of our culture and way of life. 

    Infographic: The Countries That Love Coffee-To-Go | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

    Is Coffee Healthy For You?

    Every year scientific research reveals even more surprising health benefits of drinking coffee and some may even boggle your mind!

    Only two years ago Grosso&2017 and Poole&2017 reviewed the relevant scientific studies on coffee’s effects on various diseases and both found that consumption of coffee had many potential health benefits.

    Is coffee good for you? Let us further explore some of these health benefits and find out.

    By-the-way, most scientific research was on drinking black coffee.

    1. Protects the Liver

    The liver is an amazing organ. It is tasked with filtering the blood that’s coming from the digestive tract, processes fructose and alcohol, detoxifies harmful chemicals, and aids in the metabolism of over the counter medications (OTC).

    Apart from that, this most beleaguered of organs can also regenerate almost like they knew they were going to get a raw deal being stuck in us.

    According to a Xiao&2017 in the journal Hepatology, drinking coffee can lower your chances of cirrhosis of the liver.

    Another ground breaking study by Setiawan&2015 at the Keck School of Medicine found that, compared with non-coffee drinkers, people who drank:

    • 2-3 cups of coffee per day had a 46% reduction in risk of death from chronic liver disease (CLD)
    • 4 cups of coffee, or greater, per day had a 71% reduction in CLD.

    As you can see an increase in coffee consumption leads to a decrease in the risk of getting CLD. This is an inverse association between coffee and these diseases.

    The researchers also found that these

    “inverse associations were similar regardless of the participants’ ethnicity, sex, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol intake, or diabetes status.”

    Heath&2017, Nieber2017 also found that coffee reduced the risk of cirrhosis, fibrosis, viral hepatitis, and cancer.

    Coffee’s effect on reducing the risk of certain liver diseases is so remarkable that coffee has been called ‘The Magical Bean for Liver Diseases’ (Heath&2017).

    By-the-way, if you are interested in following the effects of coffee on liver disease (or other diseases), and can handle the scientific blurb, then you can’t go wrong visiting the ‘Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC).’

    This organization is a great resource for research into the effects of coffee and health and we will be citing it frequently throughout this post.

    In particular, the ISIC has a list of research studies on the effect of coffee on liver function.

    Just beware that scientific research can be difficult to understand and be contradictory at times. Some studies may say there is an effect and some studies don’t. That is the nature of science.

    2. Reduces Risk of Cancer

    Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells. There are many different cancers and we can’t say that coffee can help with all cancers.  However, we did find some positive results for some cancers.

    Setiawan&2015 found that, compared with non-coffee drinkers, people who drank:

    • 2-3 cups of coffee per day had a 38% reduction in risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) 
    • 4 cups of coffee, or greater, per day had a 41% reduction in HCC

    Coffee was also seen to reduce the risk of having colorectal cancer, female breast cancer, hepatocellular cancer, and head and neck cancer. (Schmit&2016, Tran&2019, Gapstur&2017, Petrick&2015, Heath&2017)

    It is surprising that in 1991 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified coffee as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (i.e., causes cancer).

    However, in a 2016 meeting the IARC rescinded this classification and coffee was reclassified as ‘unclassifiable’.

    Basically, they now think that coffee is not so bad and probably even a little good. And that is what we are seeing in this post!

    The ISIC has a list of research studies on the effect of coffee on various cancers. 

    3. Helps You Live Longer

    All of the beneficial effects you see in this post have the potential to lengthen your life simply by coffee preventing adverse events from happening (e.g., cancer).

    Coffee isn’t the elixir for immortality but it can help stretch out your mortality.

    Drinking coffee seems to lower the risk of death due to

    ‘…heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory and kidney disease for African Americans, Japanese Americans, Latinos and whites.’  (Park&2017)

    A person who drinks one cup of coffee a day reduces the risk of death from various diseases (e.g., cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes) by about 12% and coffee enthusiasts who drink about three cups a day reduces the risk of death by about 18%. (Park&2017)

    Ageing like wine? No! Ageing with coffee please.

    4. Boosts Alertness & Energy

    We would all like a bit of energy boost sometimes.

    A student needs to do an all-nighter, swapping shifts, or just a get up and go in the morning.

    Well, it looks like coffee can help you!

    A neurotransmitter called adenosine works on the brain cells to inhibit memory, mood, reaction time and make you feel sleepy!

    Coffee blocks adenosine and essentially ‘wakes you up’ and is one of the reasons why we feel refreshed and charged after gulping down a cup of coffee.

    Additionally, the decrease in adenosine leads to an increase in other neurotransmitters and hormones which affects alertness and energy levels.

    Refer to: Smith&1993, Hindmarch&2000, Dulloo&1989

    A coffee a day gives you a boost to play.

    5. Prevents Teeth Cavities

    We all probably know that drinking black coffee can take the shine off our chompers.

    However, drinking strong black coffee can kill bacteria that would otherwise stick to the teeth and result in tooth decay (Namboodiripad&Kori2009)

    Yadav&2017 also found that a green coffee bean extract used as a mouthwash effectively reduced the amount of the bacterium Streptococcus mutans. This bacterium is commonly found in the mouth and contributes to tooth decay.

    Coffee may dull your chompers but it can also help you keep them in your mouth for longer!

    6. Reduces the Risk of Heart Attack

    A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked.

    Coffee can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (Wu&2009).

    Drinking at least 3 cups of coffee a day can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications after you have had a heart attack (Brown&2016)

    The ISIC has a list of research studies on the effect of coffee on cardiovascular diseases.

    Drinking coffee regularly helps keep your ticker ticking!

    7. Reduces the Risk of Stroke

    A stroke occurs when a blood vessel feeding the brain gets clogged or bursts. 

    Lee&2007 in Korea showed that drinking coffee has a protective effect against stroke in middle aged women but not men.

    OK…so the news for men doesn’t sound good but wait! There is more…

    Kokubo&2013 in Japan showed that if people drank 1 to 2 cups of  coffee a day or even 2 to 6 cups per week, then they had lower risk of stroke. These results applied to the ‘general population’ and I guess that includes men! 

    Is coffee good for you? Yes, both men and women can reduce your chances of stroke by drinking coffee.

    8. Reduce the Risk of Parkinson's Disease

    Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It harms the nerve cells in the brain, and keeps the brain from producing dopamine.

    While you may not die from Parkinson’s disease, you will experience limited mobility as the symptoms worsen. 

    Yamada-Fowler&2014 from the Linköping University in Sweden discovered that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s Disease.

    The ISIC also has a list of research studies on the effect of coffee on Parkinson’s Disease.

    9. Keep Alzheimer's Disease at Bay

    Alzheimer’s Disease is another neurodegenerative disease that is the leading cause of dementia in the world.

    Alzheimer’s disease usually affects those who are above 65 years of age, but several things can be done to keep you safe from getting the disease and drinking coffee is one of them.

    Eskelinin&Kivipelto2010 and Ross&2000 show that the regular use of coffee can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and slow the progression of cognitive decline. Panza&2015 are not so sure but they don’t rule out a benefit.

    The ISIC has a list of research studies on the effect of coffee on Alzheimer’s Disease.

    Drink a cup of coffee a day and hopefully you will be OK!

    10. Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

    Ding&2014 from Harvard  found that drinking a cup of coffee a day can reduce your risk of getting diabetes by up to 8%.

    Interestingly, they also showed a similar effect with decaffeinated coffee. This suggests that other molecules in coffee, not caffeine, are responsible for this effect.

    In case you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s still not too late.

    According to a 20-year study by Bidel&2006 that was carried out on patients of Type-2 diabetes, it was found that drinking a cup of coffee regularly lowered the risk of death by nearly 30%.

    Yep, these guys really did wait 20 years (20.8 years to be precise) to analyse their results. Now that is patience and determination for you!

    An analysis of about 30 previous research studies by Carlström&Larsson2014, at the Karolinska Institutet also showed that coffee reduced the risk of Type-2 diabetes.

    The ISIC has a list of research studies on the effect of coffee on Type 2 Diabetes.

    A coffee a day will hopefully help keep your sugar levels at bay!

    11. Prevents Kidney Stones

    When the minerals in the urine get concentrated, they form tiny, but excruciatingly painful pebbles that either get stuck in the kidney or pass through the ureter. Either way, the experience is not a pleasant one.

    The problem with kidney stones is that there aren’t any symptoms until the stones start to move around in the kidney. Before you reach for the ice pack, know this that it won’t help.

    Fortunately, Ferraro&2014 found that drinking at least a cup of coffee a day lowered the risk of developing kidney stones by up to 26%.

    However, as is the way in science there is some contradiction.

    Sun&2019 showed that caffeine intake was:

    “associated with a higher risk of recurrent kidney stones in adults, especially for women individuals of non-white race and non-overweight subjects”

    Don’t lose hope other research may yet reveal more beneficial effect of coffee on kidney stones.

    Finally, the ISIC lists research that caffeine may also reduce the risk of having gallstones.

    Coffee can move stones!

    12. Burn Fat & Lose Weight

    There’s a good reason why caffeine is found in every commercial weight loss supplement because Koot&Deurenberg1995 found that it boosts the body’s metabolic rate by up to 11%.

    Jeukendrup&Randell2011 reviewed some of the effects of caffeine on metabolism and some research showed that caffeine could substantially increase the resting metabolic rate. They concluded that:

     “Based on the available literature, caffeine and green tea have data to back up its fat metabolism-enhancing properties.”

    There are some promising benefits of drinking coffee and weight loss. However, you don’t want to throw away the running shoes or do away with your healthy diet just yet.

    Drink a coffee a day to keep the fat away?

    13. Keeps you Smart

    We would all like to be a little smarter and coffee may be able to help you do just that.

    Borota&2014 found that people who consume 200 mg of caffeine (which is slightly more than what you’ll find in your average Starbucks cup) have a better time retaining information.

    We all know that hard to get up morning feeling. College students, in particular, are not usually early risers because it is their ‘non-optimal’ time of the day.

    However, Sherman&2016 found that coffee enhanced the memory of these young adults. A great help to them when they take morning exams!

    Caffeine blocks adenosine, and adenosine is a neurotransmitter that inhibits norepinephrine. This is another neurotransmitter that helps with our memory.

    So, the next time you’re studying late (or even early) for an exam, downing cups of coffee has two benefits — keeping you attentive and boosting your memory.

    Again the ISIC has a list of research studies on the effect of coffee on mental performance.

    It is smart to have a coffee a day!

    14. Prevents Retinal Degeneration

    Retinal Degeneration is the deterioration of the retina of the eye. The retina is at the back of the eye and records the images we see and sends them to the brain through the optic nerve.

    The deterioration is a result of the progressive death of cells. There are multiple causes of retinal degeneration, from poor diet to exposure to a bright light and iron deficiency.

    Jang&2014, at Cornell University, suggested that:

     “…coffee consumption may help in preventing retinal degeneration”

    See, I said that coffee can help!

    Is coffee good for you and your eyes? 

    15. DECREASE THE RISK OF MELANOMA​

    Melanoma which is a type of cancer that develops from the pigment-containing cells called ‘melanocytes.’ It can spread quickly and can be fatal.

    Loftfield&2015 showed that drinking four cups of coffee a day was associated with a ‘…modest decrease in risk of melanoma’.

    Could drinking coffee suppress the further development of melanoma in cancer patients? Not quite sure yet but at least it is promising.

    Yes, I could have covered this in the section on cancer but I thought melanoma deserved its own little section.

    Coffee may help but don’t give up on your sunscreen.

    16. Curbs Depression

    Depression is a serious mental disorder that’s turned into a growing problem in many countries of the world, including the US.

    It is estimated that about 7% of all adults (117 million people) in the US  had at least one major depressive episode during 2017.

    Depression can significantly reduce the quality of life of a person, so finding something (anything) that helps has got to be good.

    Lucas&2011 in a study involving 50,739 US women showed that women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day over ten years reduced the risk of getting depression by about 20%. They also found that decaffeinated coffee had no effect on depression.

    Another good reason to avoid decaffeinated coffee!

    Additionally, Kawachi&1996 showed that women who drank four or more cups of coffee were 53% less likely to commit suicide.

    Don’t worry men, coffee can help you too. Ruusunen&2010 showed that heavy coffee drinkers (about 3 to 4 cups per day) had a decreased risk for depression when compared with men who did not drink coffee. 

    Is coffee good for you if you have depression?  It looks promising. You could even think of coffee as a ‘happy pill’ in liquid form!

    17. Provides Essential Nutrients

    Coffee beans are packed with beneficial nutrients.

    Some of the nutrients are lost when the coffee is processed but many make their way into your cup of coffee.

    Reported values in one ‘regular’ cup of coffee (8 ounces) are:

    • 0.2 mg of Vitamin B2 (also called Riboflavin) and this is about 11% of Daily Values (DV),
    • 0.6 mg Vitamin B5 (also known as pantothenic acid) and this is about 6% of DV
    • 0.5 mg of Vitamin B3 (also known as Niacin) and this is about 2% of DV
    • 4.7 µg of Vitamin B9 (also known as Folate) and this is about 1% of DV
    • 116 mg of potassium and this is about 3% of DV
    • 0.1 mg of manganese and this is about 3% of DV
    • 7.1 mg of magnesium and this is about 2% of DV

    These numbers might not seem like much, but many people usually drink more than one cup of coffee. This means its nutritional value can add up quickly (take that green tea)!

    You could think of coffee as a nutrition supplement without needing to take any pills.

    Is coffee good for you in terms of your nutrition? Absolutely. 

    Note:

    mg = milligram. This is one thousandth of a gram or about 0.00004 ounces

    µg = microgram. This is one millionth of a gram or about 0.00000004 ounces

    Vitamin is a shortened version of ‘vital amine’ and is vital for life!

     

    18. Perks you Up

    Coffee has psychological effects and is considered a psychoactive drug. Caffeine is probably the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug and it is legal!

    Chan&Maglio2019 found that we are so entrenched in the association between coffee and being refreshed and alert that merely thinking about the brew is enough to cheer you up!

    Haskell-Ramsay&2018 performed a whole batch of tests 30 minutes after drinking 220 mL of regular coffee containing 100 mg caffeine. The tests included such things as alertness, mood, headache, tiredness, mental fatigue, and jitteriness. They found that coffee:

    • Decreased reaction time (compared with placebo — a ‘pretend’ coffee drink)
    • Increased alertness (compared with placebo — a ‘pretend’ coffee drink)
    • Decreased tiredness (compared with decaffeinated coffee)
    • Decreased headache (compared with decaffeinated coffee)
    • Increased jitteriness

    Interestingly they also found that decaffeinated coffee increased alertness.

    This last observation suggests that the effects of coffee may be due to molecules in coffee other than caffeine.

    If you are interested the ISIC has an expert commentary on the effects of coffee on mood and emotions.

    The message is that drinking up to 4 cups of coffee a day can keep you alert and cheerful throughout the day! Is coffee good for you in this case? Yep!

    19. Enhances Physical Performance

    Caffeine may help enhance physical performance during both endurance (e.g., cycling, running, and rowing) and high-intensity exercise.

    Pickering&Grgic2019 also suggested that coffee has the potential to enhance performance if coffee is drunk prior to exercise.

    Whilst researching this post I found out that anything that helps physical performance is called an ergogenic aid. For some unknown reason I like this word!

    Can you imagine the advertisements: ‘Coffee Your Ergogenic Drink!’ Well, maybe not.

    So can coffee be used as a ‘cheat chemical’ to enhance the performance of athletes?

    Well, as we have seen coffee can enhance physical performance but coffee is well accepted in society and the enhancement is small. Is coffee good for you and your physical performance? Yes!

    Coffee (more specifically caffeine) is generally not banned in sport. If you are an athlete and a coffee lover that has to be good news!

    20. Protects Against Kidney Disease

    Your kidneys are important organs of your body. They remove cellular wastes, cellular acid, and extra fluid from your blood.

    Your kidneys have an important role balancing the water, salts, and minerals (e.g., sodium, potassium) in your blood. They also produce hormones to control blood pressure, make red blood cells, and strengthen bones.

    If kidneys fail to do their job for any reason, then you are in trouble. It would be something like building up

    Want to know how your kidneys work? Check out this entertaining and academic video: 

    Chronic kidney disease creeps up on you. You could have chronic kidney disease and not know it — at least initially.

    Chronic kidney disease is caused by damaged nephrons in the kidney. The nephrons are physiological structures that filter cellular waste from the blood. 

    When the nephrons are damaged they can’t do their job properly anymore and waste and fluid builds up in the kidney.

    Like any other waste you don’t want it hanging around for too long otherwise it can cause problems. In this case it would severely affect the rest of the body and permanently damage the kidneys.

    Jhee&2018 found that even 1 cup of coffee per day reduced the risk of developing kidney disease compared with non coffee drinkers. 

    Is coffee good for you? If it reduces your risk of kidney disease then I’d say so.

    Coffee -> You happy -> Kidneys happy!

    21. A great source of anitoxidants

    Coffee has a high content of antioxidants. How is this important?

    Antioxidants are molecules that protect your cells against the effects of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS).

    It seems weird that we can’t live without oxygen but at the same time oxygen can be toxic in different forms such as ROS.

    These free radicals and ROS, often small, are dangerous if left unchecked because they attack other important molecules in the body such as proteins, DNA, and the lipids in the cell membrane. This can lead to many diseases.

    Unfortunately, we cannot avoid them because they are produced from the usual biochemical reactions that take place in the body. They can also come from the environment or as a result of radiation acting on the molecules in our cells.

    Fortunately, the body has molecules, generally called antioxidants,  that can control the ROS and free radicals.

    These antioxidant molecules can work together to battle the free radicals and include proteins, enzymes, and smaller molecules.

    Some of the smaller antioxidant molecules include well-known vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

    Unfortunately, our bodies can run out of these antioxidants so we need to replenish them from our diet.

    Coffee to the rescue!

    Coffee contains many molecules that can act as antioxidants. These include chlorogenic acids and melanoidins.

    Antioxidants can also come from fruits and vegetables in our diet. However, Svilaas&2004, in a study of Norwegian adults, found that:

    “Surprisingly, the single greatest contributor to the total antioxidant intake was coffee.”

    This is good news for people who don’t like to eat vegetables because all you have to do is drink coffee.

    What if you don’t like vegetables or coffee? Well, that is truely sad but you could try tea and fruit. What if you don’t like vegetables, tea, fruit, or coffee? Well, that is tragic and I’d be surprised that you are still alive.

    Is coffee good for you? Well, all the antioxidants in coffee beans are a big plus for you.

    We do not need coffee like we would need vitamins and we can avoid it in our diet.

    But try telling that to a coffee lover!

    22. Enjoyment

    We have seen that our mental and physical health can benefit from drinking coffee. 

    But coffee isn’t a medicine to be taken two, three, or four times a day.

    No matter who you are.

    No matter where you are.

    No matter what you do.

    The final benefit of drinking coffee is that…

    You ENJOY the experience! 

    How does Coffee Work?

    How does coffee have so many different effects on the cells in our bodies? Well, there is no definitive answer just yet and research continues.

    This research is difficult because coffee contains over a thousand different molecules and it is not always caffeine that is the active ingredient. The effects of coffee could be due to one, or more, other molecules working alone or in combination.

    There are also a lot of other factors that influence the molecular components of the coffee we eventually drink such as:

      • Type of coffee plant (e.g. arabica or robusta)
      • Growing the coffee plant (soil, climate, altitude)
      • Harvesting the coffee cherries (hand picked or machine picked)
      • Processing the coffee cherries (dry or wet method)
      • Storing and transport of the coffee beans
      • Roasting the coffee beans (e.g. light, medium, or dark)
      • Grinding the coffee beans (e.g. course, medium and fine)
      • Brewing the coffee grinds (e.g. drip, espresso, siphon)
      • Milk or other additives to the coffee

    Each of these steps determines what ends up in your cup of coffee. This means that your cup of coffee will have beneficial molecules in lesser or greater amounts than another person’s cup of coffee.

    There is also the very big issue of individual differences. What works for one person may not work for another!

    Given these factors, and the large number of molecules in the coffee bean, you can see that the number of variables is huge and this is what makes research into the effects of coffee so difficult and challenging.

    Is coffee bad for you?

    Is coffee bad for you? Problems can arise from drinking coffee especially for people who are sensitive to coffee.

    We also warn against concentrated coffee supplements such as coffee pills and powders. These supplements are OK, but you should not take too many coffee pills or too much coffee powder.

    Increasing the dose of anything doesn’t necessarily mean it will increase the benefit.

    A person sensitive to coffee can experience headaches, abdomen pain, diarrhoea, heartburn, regurgitation, and indigestion (DiBaise 2003)

    We have also previously mentioned the ‘cons’ of drinking coffee in this post.

    So coffee can be bad for some people and research may turn up more examples of adverse effects of drinking coffee.

    Is coffee bad for you? Yes, it can be.

    Nevertheless, the health benefits of drinking coffee presented in this post were supported by scientific evidence. And it is only a very small part of all the research on the health benefits of coffee.

    You could accuse me of confirmation bias and fair enough!

    The title and topic of this post is ‘Is Coffee Good For You? it is not ‘Is Coffee Bad For You?’ You could say that I chose optimism rather than pessimism.

    As always, it is up to you to decide if I have fairly presented the health benefits of coffee. You can also do you own due diligence.

    I welcome your comments!

    Learn More About Coffee

    Want to learn more about coffee? Great!

    Please take a look around the rest of our website. We are adding new posts all the time. You can also ask questions in the comment form at the bottom of the page. We will respond with an answer or try and find the answer for you!

    You can also try out some of the great books we have listed below. We have read them all and used some as a reference and bibliography for this website. We recommend all of these books.

    These books are enjoyable to read and have tons of useful information. If you want to learn more, then you can’t pass up these books. 

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Coffee is the seed of the coffee berry (cherry) which is the fruit of the coffee tree. The fruit of the coffee tree is the coffee berry (cherry). The coffee berry is made of pulp, other layers, and two seeds. The seeds are the coffee beans, so you could say that the coffee beans are part of the fruit but not the whole fruit.

    I am not so one-eyed that we can’t say that tea doesn’t have its benefits. It does. 

    However, coffee still seems to come out ahead of tea for nutrition and other health benefits. 

    But you drink whatever you like. I like both but prefer coffee.

    The best way is through your mouth. 

    I have heard of coffee enema but never felt the need to try.

    OK..I guess the question was about the method of brewing coffee?

    Well, again it is much a matter of personal choice.

    Different brewing methods will give you a different taste and aroma. 

    You can experiment and see which method suits you.

    A coffee bean is not the same as a green bean. They are from different plant families.

    In particular, coffee beans are from the Rubiaceae family of plants and green beans are from the Fabaceae family.

    I will follow up on this relationship in a later post. 

    Please note resources on GoodCoffeePlace website are not intended as specific legal, technical, or medical guidance. You should seek the guidance of qualified medical professional for any medical advice. Please see our Disclaimers.

    Coffee is Good! 

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