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Coffee as a disease prevention: who should drink this beverage

Flavored coffee. Source: freepik

After water and tea, coffee is one of the most beloved and popular beverages in the world.

For many people, it is an indispensable habit before going to work and a means of socializing throughout the day.

In general, the average consumption ranges from 2 to 6 cups per day. What are the health consequences? The benefits outweigh the risks. This is the conclusion of a thorough study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (van Dam et al., 2020).

SO, LET'S LOOK AT COFFEE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE MOST RECENT SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS:

It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiangiogenic (anti-tumor growth), anticancer, chemoprotective (protecting the body during chemotherapy) and hepatoprotective properties.

It contains more than a thousand compounds, many of which have not yet been discovered.

Moderate consumption of coffee in good health, with the exception of some periods of a woman's life (pregnancy and lactation), can have a positive effect, significantly reducing various chronic diseases.

Its consumption is associated with a lower risk of head and neck cancer.

There is a positive relationship between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality (approximately 6% of lost healthy life years could be prevented if all consumers drank three cups of coffee a day, hmm, interesting).

Coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing chronic liver disease.

INSTANT OR GROUND?

The favorable effect will depend on the type of coffee: it is good, regardless of whether it is instant, ground, or decaffeinated, and is associated with a reduced risk of chronic liver disease, including hepatitis and hepatocellular cancer.

Regular and moderate consumption of coffee can reduce the risk of death and the risk of death from cardiovascular causes.

People who consume light to moderate coffee have a 12% lower risk of dying from the disease than those who do not drink coffee.

In the case of cardiovascular diseases, the risk of death is reduced by as much as 17%, and in the case of stroke - by 21%.

Among other findings, it should be emphasized that people who consume up to three cups of coffee a day have a healthier heart in terms of size and function, in line with the lesser impact of aging on the organ.

WHAT ABOUT TOO MUCH COFFEE?

Consumption of large amounts of coffee is associated with an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease only in patients with severe hypertension.

There is no risk if you have grade 1 hypertension (but why risk it?).

Coffee alone does not work miracles, as cardiovascular disease is associated with other critical lifestyle factors, namely the "Western" diet (too much solid fat, too much sugar).

However, it is quite possible that coffee can improve the situation even with a "Western" unhealthy diet (friends, keep in mind that I am not writing this, it is written in a study, and do not practice it).

COFFEE AND HEART

The beneficial effects of regular coffee consumption on the cardiovascular system can be explained by its antihypertensive (i.e., blood pressure lowering), antidiabetic, antiarrhythmic, and antiatherosclerotic effects.

COFFEE AND DIABETES MELLITUS

Coffee consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. N-caffeoyl-tryptophan, a component of coffee, promotes glucose uptake by fat cells (adipocytes) and helps reduce the postprandial sugar spike (drink coffee after meals).

WHO TO LIMIT?

Coffee can interfere with the absorption of osteoporosis medications (alendronate).

Coffee should be limited in case of hyperthyroidism (excessive production of thyroid hormones) and glaucoma or acute diseases of the intestines, stomach, liver, heart, kidneys, pancreas, and nervous system.

WHAT ABOUT DECAFFEINATED COFFEE?

There is no such thing as completely decaffeinated coffee: it can contain from 1.5 to 2% caffeine, which means that it is coffee that has lost about 97% of its caffeine.

More precisely, decaffeinated coffee exists in nature and comes from the Coffea charrieriana plant. However, its use is not widespread due to the rarity of this plant.

IS DECAFFEINATED COFFEE GOOD FOR YOU?

Drinking decaffeinated coffee is controversial for two main reasons.

First, many producers use a chemical process to remove caffeine from coffee beans. The result is that the coffee has less caffeine, but more chemicals that the body doesn't need.

Second, it is the caffeine in coffee that provides the health and energy benefits. Decaffeinated coffee has few benefits other than maintaining the coffee ritual.

IS COFFEE ALLOWED FOR CHRONIC INTESTINAL DISEASES?

At the moment, there is no definite evidence of the harmful effects of coffee and caffeine on the intestines of patients with ulcerative colitis.

COFFEE AND THE BRAIN

Coffee and its biologically active compounds protect the brain and reduce the risk of neurodegeneration.

In the "here and now", coffee can improve mood, alertness, learning speed, and reaction, and in the long term, it can protect against brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Alzheimer's disease causes memory loss, as well as cognitive and behavioral problems. Studies have linked regular and moderate coffee consumption to a 65% reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. It is characterized by the death of nerve cells in the brain that secrete the substance dopamine, which is necessary for muscle movement.

Parkinson's disease affects mobility and often includes tremors (shaking of the hands, feet, and head).

Coffee can help reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease by 29%. This is due to caffeine and other substances in coffee.

COFFEE AND AUTOIMMUNITY (MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS)

There is evidence that habitual coffee consumption can potentially have a positive impact on the course of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Coffee is an inexpensive and beloved beverage around the world, so coffee consumption can be a cost-effective and attractive means of preventing chronic diseases.

Summarizing all of the above, friends, drink coffee, but in moderation! As a useful valuable elixir: in small sips.

And don't forget about movement, sleep, and other things that are good for health and longevity.

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