Coffee has body-wide effects and we only now start discovering its health implications.
Part one of this series grouped studies on immune system, especially in relationship to cancer. Part two explained its role in heart health and the rate of aging. Part three completed the sequel by bringing additional studies on liver, lungs, inflammation, and athletic performance.
Coffee is anti-inflammatory
Studies previously quoted showed that coffee has strong anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-aging, and anti-degenerative effect. The reasons behind those were explored by further studies suggesting that these effects are due to it`s ability to re-direct inflammatory pathways.
Coffee significantly reduces expression of inflammatory cytokines (parts of immune system), promotes nitric oxide production (needed for microcirculation), and improves inflammatory lipid markers in blood (AKA cholesterol profile). 1, 2, 3, 4.
Those who drink java have fewer gallstones, fewer gallstone attacks, and fewer gallbladder surgeries. However, be aware that only the caffeinated version will do this trick. Two to three cups a day can reduce gallstone risk by 4%, but drinking four or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day can bump up that number to 45%. 1, 2.
Prevents liver cirrhosis
Coffee has a strong beneficial action on the liver. It has actually been suggested as a dietary treatment for liver problems. It prevents progression of liver inflammation, damage from viral hepatitis, delays fibrosis, and is even helpful in liver cirrhosis.
Helps with gout
Gout is a painful rheumatic condition which is associated with variety of chronic inflammatory states including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, renal insufficiency, and diabetes. Gout is caused by body’s inability to clear uric acid. The resulting accumulation of uric acid crystals is the cause behind unpleasant gout flair-ups. However, multiple studies suggest that regular coffee drinkers have lower levels of uric acid in the blood and as a result suffer from fewer gout attacks. 1, 2, 3, 4.
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Helps with asthma and cough
For long it was believed that coffee is good for coughs. Observational and epidemiological studies seem to confirm this folk wisdom. Java has been shown to have immunomodulating, bronchodilating and antitussive (anti-cough) properties.
Long-term consumption not only reduces symptoms but also prevents clinical manifestation of bronchial asthma. Coffee has been shown to significantly improve lung function up to four hours after drinking it. 1, 2, 3.
If you are tired of getting constant infections you likely want to implement steps that boost the immune system. You will find the instructions in the great read “Ousting Sniffles”
Improves athletic performance
Everyone knows coffee gives you a kick and that seem to be confirmed by formal studies. It significantly increases muscle endurance during brief, intense exercise and improves performance and endurance during prolonged, exhaustive exercise.
It also significantly improves anaerobic performance. Coffee helps with fat oxidation or in other words helps burn fat as fuel. Due to coffee’s well-studied ergogenic properties it makes runners run faster and cyclists pedal better. 1, 2.
Coffee caveats and myths
Coffee has bad reputation for making people suffer from nervousness, insomnia, and acid stomach. It has been blamed for calcium loss in the urine, which causes osteoporosis and tooth erosion.
Coffee is known to produce dependence and is associated with withdrawal upon stopping. It is one of the heaviest sprayed crops, a practice that may cancel its health effects. Is this all true?
Coffee can promote nervousness in already anxious individuals and insomnia in people who already do not sleep sound. So maybe it is not the beverage, but an overexcited state of metabolism that is to be looked at first.
Coffee can make you feel acidic, but surprisingly the actual pH of the beverage is 4.9 -5.2. More or less the same a banana. Although coffee is a diuretic and does promote mineral loss the studies do not confirm that it causes osteoporosis when drank in moderation.
Calcium loss from consuming one cup per day can be offset by adding two tablespoons of milk to the cup. Caffeine intake of less than 400mg/day (4 cups/day) does not have any significant effects on bone density or calcium balance. And the biggest enamel thief is not coffee, but pop with sugar, Gatorade, and Red Bull. 1, 2.
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Withdrawal is an issue, but it is a short-lived phenomenon and it does not produce any permanent or long-term mental ill-effects. Studies suggest that drinking coffee more than 8 hours before retiring limits its contribution to insomnia
Coffee is a wonderful health-food for people who can tolerate it. Long-term effect on immune system, circulation, nervous system, and rate of aging makes this drink a liquid black gold. That said, coffee is excellent only for those who can tolerate short-term post-drinking agitation AKA nervousness or stomach over activity. If you can get over this initial over-excitability phase then long-term effects of coffee is well worth drinking it.
If you want to maximize both health and pleasure of coffee drinking please ensure your it is pesticide-free, top grade and milled just before using.