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Health benefits and risks of drinking coffee

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When people talk about coffee they generally think about its ability to provide a boost in energy. However, it may also offer some other significant health benefits, according to some studies, such as a lower risk of liver cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart failure.

Researchers around the world say people drink around 2.25 billion cups of coffee a day.

Studies have explored the effects of drinking coffee for conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and hepatic disease. There is evidence to support some of these arguments, but not all of them.

Coffee contains many valuable nutrients including riboflavin (vitamin B-2), niacin (vitamin B-3), magnesium, potassium, and various phenolic or antioxidant compounds. Some experts say that coffee ingredients such as these and other can benefit the human body in different ways.

This article discusses the health benefits of drinking coffee, the evidence to support those benefits and the dangers of drinking coffee.

5 benefits of drinking coffee

The potential health benefits associated with drinking coffee include:

  • protection against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, and liver cancer
  • the promotion of a healthy heart

In the sections below, we cover these benefits in more detail.

1. Coffee and diabetes

Drinking coffee may help prevent type 2 diabetes
Coffee may help prevent type 2 diabetes and some other conditions.

Coffee will help protect against type 2 diabetes.

Researchers who collected data on over 48,000 people in 2014 found that those who increased their consumption of coffee by at least one cup a day over 4 years had an 11 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who did not raise their intake.

A 2017 meta-analysis found that people who drank four to six cups of either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee per day appeared at a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, like type 2 diabetes.

2. Coffee and Parkinson’s disease

Various studies have shown that caffeine, found in coffee and many other drinks, can help protect against Parkinson’s illness.

One team came to the conclusion that people who drink over four cups of coffee a day may have a fivefold lower chance of Parkinson’s than those who do not.

Furthermore, the caffeine in coffee may help to regulate movement in people with Parkinson’s, according to one study in 2012.

A 2017 meta-analysis findings indicated a correlation between coffee consumption and a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, even among people who smoke. The study also found that people who drink coffee can have less chance of developing depression and cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s.

Nevertheless, there was insufficient evidence to show that consuming decaffeinated coffee would help prevent the disease of Parkinson.

3. Coffee and liver cancer

Italian studies have found that coffee intake decreases the risk of hepatic cancer by around 40%. Many of the findings show that people who drink three cups a day will have a lower risk of 50 per cent.

A 2019 literature review also concluded that “coffee consumption is likely to reduce the risk of hepatic cancer.”

4. Coffee and other liver diseases

A 2017 meta-analysis found that drinking some form of coffee appeared to minimize the risk of liver cancer, nonalcoholic liver fatty disease, and cirrhosis.

Those who drink coffee may also be at reduced risk of developing gallstone disease.

Researchers studied the consumption of coffee among people with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) in 2014. Those are autoimmune diseases, which affect the liver bile ducts.

We found people with PSC were more likely to get a lower intake of coffee than those without the disorder. There was no evidence to indicate a difference in coffee intake among people with or without PBC.

In addition, one study in 2014 indicated a correlation between coffee consumption and a lower risk of dying from cirrhosis due to nonviral hepatitis. The researchers proposed that drinking two or more cups of coffee daily could reduce the risk by 66%.

5. Coffee and heart health

One 2012 study concluded that it is possible to protect against heart failure by drinking coffee in moderation, or eating about two 8-ounce servings a day.

People who drank moderate quantities of coffee every day had an 11 percent lower heart disease risk compared to those who didn’t.

One meta-analysis of 2017 showed that the intake of caffeine may have at least a slight benefit for cardiovascular health and blood pressure.

Nonetheless, several research observed higher blood lipid (fat) and cholesterol rates in people who were drinking more coffee.

Nutritional value

Coffee is low in calories, but adding sugar and cream will change its nutritional value.
Coffee is low in calories, but adding sugar and cream will change its nutritional value.

Standard black coffee is low in calories (no milk or cream). In addition, a standard black cup of coffee contains only around 2 calories. The addition of cream or sugar will also increase the calorific benefit.

Also the coffee beans contain polyphenols, an antioxidant form.

Antioxidants can help to rid the body of free radicals, a form of waste product that the body creates naturally as a result of certain processes.

Free radicals are unstable and have the ability to cause inflammation. Scientists have identified associations between inflammation and various metabolic syndrome factors, including diabetes type 2 and obesity.

Some researchers proposed in 2018 that the coffee’s antioxidant content may provide protection from metabolic syndrome.

The author of an article from 2017 states that while scientists may prove that some compounds are present in coffee beans, what happens to them after they enter the human body remains unknown.


Drinking too much coffee can have adverse effects, too. We cover some of those threats in the parts below.

Bone fractures

Some studies have shown women who drink a lot of coffee could have an increased risk of bone fractures.

At the other hand, people with a higher consumption of coffee tend to be running a slightly lower risk.


The researchers added that during breastfeeding, coffee consumption may not be healthy. In addition, some evidence indicates a correlation between high consumption of coffee and loss of pregnancy, low birth weight, and premature birth.


Women who drink coffee may have a higher risk of endometriosis but there is not enough evidence to support such a correlation.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

People who drink a lot of coffee may have a slightly higher risk of this condition.


High amounts of caffeine consumption can increase the risk of anxiety, especially among people with panic disorder or social anxiety disorder. Less generally, this can cause mania and paranoia in susceptible individuals.

Mental health

One 2016 study concluded that a high intake of caffeine during puberty can contribute to permanent brain changes.

The researchers behind the study expressed concern that this could raise the likelihood of adult anxiety-related conditions.

Presence of toxic ingredients

Researchers observed comparatively high mycotoxin levels in commercial coffee in 2015. Mycotoxins are poisonous substances that can contaminate natural coffee.


Ladies drinking coffee
Drinking three to four cups of coffee per day may have health benefits.

One 2017 meta-analysis found that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day is “generally healthy” for most people, and that doing so may potentially reduce the risk of certain health conditions.

Nevertheless, the authors of the study cautioned that smoking could cancel out the benefits of drinking coffee.

Caffeine is an essential characteristic in coffee, but there are other compounds in coffee, so there are many ways to drink it. This makes it hard to decide exactly how a person is influenced by coffee, and which components have particular benefits and risks.

A person who wishes to derive health benefits from coffee should avoid exceeding the daily recommended intake and try to monitor the ingredients they add, such as sugar, cream, or flavorings, as these may not be healthful.

Pregnant women and those at risk of bone fractures may wish to avoid coffee.

If you want to buy coffee, then there is an excellent selection online.

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