(Abby Campbell for NaturalHealth365) Something that many people look forward to, in the morning, is a cup of fresh brewed coffee to boost energy. While studies have shown this popular beverage to be beneficial for health in many ways, contradictory information has arisen throughout the years about the negative effects of caffeine on the body.
But, wait, several new studies are suggesting that this dark black beverage should have its place in our diet – as there are many health benefits such as, reduced risk of mortality and chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more.
Moderate coffee consumption reduces mortality risk
It should be noted that earlier studies have shown heavy coffee consumption to be associated with a higher risk of mortality. However, more recent studies have revealed that earlier research is inconclusive.
A more recent longitudinal study was released by the American Heart Association journal, Circulation. After reviewing 28 years of data and records of nearly 4.7 million Americans, coffee consumption has been shown to have positive effects associated with lower mortality rate.
According to the scientific data, a higher consumption of total coffee – whether caffeinated or decaffeinated – is associated with lower mortality risk.
Whether it’s caffeinated or decaffeinated, a ‘higher coffee consumption’ was connected to a lower death rate at the one to five cups per day range. Consumers experienced a lower risk of death from type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and neurological diseases.
Coffee consumption may protect against certain cancers in some people
Several new studies are showing coffee and coffee extracts reduce oxidative DNA damage that leads to carcinogenesis. According to several studies, the caffeine in coffee also contains phytochemicals that have been reported to exert antitumor, antiangiogenic, and antioxidant properties.
Whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, positive results have been detected in several forms of cancer, such as:
- Breast cancer: Following more than 335,000 women for an average follow-up of 11 years, a large study published in Breast Cancer Research found that higher caffeinated coffee intake may be associated with a lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. For every 100-milliliter increase in caffeinated coffee intake, the risk decreased by four percent for estrogen and progesterone receptor negative breast cancers.
- Colorectal tumors: Three cups of coffee per day reduced the overall occurrence of colorectal tumors, as reported by the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.
- Endometrial cancer: Scientific Reports recently reported that just one cup of coffee per day can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer by 4 – 7 percent.
- Liver cancer: The Gastroenterology journal reported coffee drinkers as having a significant risk reduction in hepatocellular carcinoma. By drinking two to three cups per day, risk was reduced by 38 percent. With more than four cups, reduction increased to 41 percent.
- Malignant melanoma: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported a modest decrease in the risk of melanoma with four cups or less of coffee consumption.
Higher coffee intake may reduce other chronic diseases
Chronic liver disease: High levels of coffee consumption had a significant risk reduction of chronic liver disease, according to the Gastroenterology journal. Two to three cups per day reduced risk of death by 46 percent, while those who drank more than four cups per day reduced their risk by a whopping 71 percent.
Coronary heart disease: According to a study published in PLoS One, two cups of Italian-style coffee per day reduces risk of coronary heart disease. However, consumption was not associated with plasma lipid changes.
Neurological Diseases: Caffeine has been shown to be neuroprotective by antagonizing certain receptors in the brain which protect motor neurons from excitotoxicity. Additionally, chlorogenic acid in coffee may have clinical benefits for neurodegenerative diseases such as ischemic stroke, according to the Life Science journal.
Type 2 diabetes: While several studies show that high habitual coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a study published in the Journal of Natural Products found that a specific bioactive substance found in coffee may contribute to prevention. After incubation with cafestol, insulin secretion and glucose uptake increased significantly.
So, should you drink coffee or not?
While these studies mentioned continue to support the beneficial effects of higher coffee consumption, possible advantages must be weighed against potential risks such as anxiety, tremors, palpitations, insomnia, and more. Keep in mind, the health status of each person can vary greatly – especially when considering genetic tendencies or weaknesses.
If you’re not sure about coffee safety – talk to a qualified healthcare provider with lots of experience using natural therapies and nutrition to heal the body. And, above all, pay attention to how you feel (physically, mentally and emotionally) – whenever making any kind of diet or lifestyle change.
About the author: Abby Campbell is a medical, health, and nutrition research writer. She’s dedicated to helping people live a healthy lifestyle in all aspects – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Abby practices, writes, and coaches on natural preventive care, nutritional medicine, and complementary and alternative therapy.