Coffee is the thing with which millions of Americans start their day. It’s warm, inviting and full of caffeine, making it an essential stimulant to start the day. But what is really going on in your body when you drink that cup of Joe? Do you drink something that benefits you in the long run, or do you feed your body with a harmful substance? With differing opinions on the subject, here is what science says: the good and the bad.
First, the benefits
1. Protection against different types of cancers
Several studies have been conducted to determine whether the carcinogenic properties of coffee are related to cancer development – a link that the researcher could not find. However, several studies, including some cited by the American Cancer Society, have shown that coffee can actually protect against many cancers.
The ACS website stated that “coffee can reduce the risk of many types of cancer, including head and neck cancers, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and liver cancer … Hundreds of biologically active compounds including caffeine, flavonoids, lignans, and other polyphenols are found in roasted coffee. These compounds and other coffee compounds have been shown to increase energy expenditure, inhibit cell damage, regulate genes involved in DNA repair, have anti-inflammatory properties and/or inhibit metastasis, between other activities. “
2. It could reduce your risk of suicide
Recently, suicide rates have increased, causing millions, if not billions of people around the world, to find an answer on how to end the devastating effects of this epidemic. And it is difficult for anyone or anyone to claim a “cure” for that. Nevertheless, researchers have found a correlation between coffee consumption and a decrease in the risk of suicide.
A study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health cited caffeine as a likely reason for the results. The authors of the study found that the suicide rate among adults who drank two to four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was about half that of those who drank decaffeinated coffee or very little or no coffee.
It has also been discovered that caffeine in coffee not only stimulates the central nervous system but can also act as a mild antidepressant by stimulating the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Caffeine essentially stimulates people’s mood.
3. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
If you are seasoned in your years and enjoy a cup of coffee here and there – even up to five cups a day – you could reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In fact, a recent study found that eating 3 to 5 cups a day in midlife was associated with a decrease in the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by about 65% later in life.
4. Reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes
Harvard researchers have studied more than 100,000 people for nearly 20 years to determine the correlation between coffee and the reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. They found that those who increased their coffee intake by more than a cup per day were 11% less likely to develop the disease. They also found that those who reduced their coffee intake by one cup a day increased their risk of developing T2 diabetes by 17%.
Although the researchers do not know the exact cause, they suspect that it has nothing to do with caffeine, because the stimulant has actually been linked to a change in glucose and insulin levels. And the way your body reacts to caffeine really depends on how your body metabolizes it. Be that as it may, caffeine is a negative factor in blood glucose, which leads experts to suggest that if you have to drink coffee, make it decaffeinated.
Now, the bad news
1. You could get addicted
Unless you drink decaffeinated coffee, the coffee contains a lot of caffeine. In fact, a cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine, which is more than enough to get you up and start the day. In fact, caffeine is a drug and, as such, a dependence-producing chemical that can be addictive.
Further research on the subject of caffeine addiction has led health professionals to officially end the so-called caffeine use disorder. People with this disorder have behavioral and physiological patterns similar to those produced by other dependent drugs.
2. You could have more frequent urination
For years, people and even experts have described coffee as a diuretic, trying to explain why many frequent coffee drinkers often urinate. Continuation of studies has not established a connection between coffee ingredients contributing to frequent urination, but rather the fact that when you drink more, you urinate more.
So, if you drink a lot of coffee, expect a lot of this liquid to go where other liquids go: your bladder will be emptied when it is full.
3. You could lose sleep
Caffeine is a stimulant that is most often used to keep you going for a tiring day. And most people know it and drink it willingly. That being said, if you drink, say, later in the afternoon, you can expect to be well awake at bedtime.
In fact, one study found that caffeine consumption six hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by one hour. These effects may also be stronger in the elderly since the processing of caffeine takes a long time.
4. It could negatively affect your bones
Now this one is a bit controversial and lacks evidence, but please read on.
For many years there have been reports of many coffee drinkers, a decrease in bone mass and a general fragility of the skeletal system. Because of this, many health professionals and scientists have suspected caffeine to have a negative effect on calcium absorption. However, no concrete evidence was found, which led researchers to believe that this correlation is simply due to the fact that heavy drinkers of coffee do not consume enough calcium in their diet.
So you can drink less coffee or balance it with milk, almonds, broccoli or other calcium-rich foods.
5. It could cause or worsen acid reflux
Many coffee drinkers have complained of acid reflux, saying it worsens after drinking coffee. This led the researchers, once again, to find the source of the complaint. Some cite the acidity of coffee, others think it is caffeine and how it is prepared.
Although the research is not concrete, many still complain about the effects of heartburn. If you believe that coffee is to blame for your heartburn, you may want to refrain. However, if you want to continue drinking your beans in a hot cup, avoid brewing methods such as espresso or French presses that do not use paper filters that capture the oil droplets contained in the coffee and that irritate the stomach. Maybe you try cold coffee to avoid the heat factor.