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Is Coffee Bad For Your Health?

The effects of coffee on your health are quite controversial. Coffee can be a super healthy beverage or an incredibly harmful one depending on who you ask. Here, we examine the pros and cons of coffee to help you decide on whether coffee is bad for your health.

Antioxidants and Some Essential Nutrients

Coffee is extremely high in antioxidants. It also contains small amounts of some essential vitamins and minerals. For instance, a cup (240 ml) of coffee contains some percentage of the recommended daily amounts of vitamins B1 (2%), B2 (11%), B3 (2%), and B5 (6%), folate (1%), manganese (3%), potassium (3%), magnesium (2%), and phosphorus (1%). Many people take up to 4 cups a day.

Cognitive Function and Metabolism

A typical cup of coffee can have anywhere from 90-100 mg of caffeine. Caffeine (a stimulant) can enhance brain activity by blocking Adenosine and releasing Norepinephrine and Dopamine. It can also boost metabolism and improve performance in exercise. The resulting effect is that you’ll feel more alert, be in a better mood, and better perform cognitive functions. These effects are short-term and consistent consumption of coffee reduces them.

Type 2 Diabetes and Liver Diseases

Excessive alcohol consumption and fructose intake can damage the liver and result in cirrhosis. Liver cancer and type 2 diabetes are common too. Interestingly, studies suggest that drinking coffee can reduce one’s risk for diabetes by 23-67%, liver cancer by 40%, and drinking 4 or more cups of coffee daily makes you 84% less likely to develop cirrhosis.

Dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are neurodegenerative diseases that often cause dementia, especially in old age. Coffee may provide significant protection for your brain in old age. Studies show that coffee drinkers have 65% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and 32-60% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Depression and Suicide

One coffee cup in day linked to 50% lower risk of suicide.

Depression is an incredibly common problem that leads to a significantly reduced quality of life. Studies have shown that coffee reduces your risk of becoming depressed by 20% and taking 4 or more cups of coffee daily lowers your risk of committing suicide by 53%.

Anxiety and Sleep Disruption

Too much consumption of caffeine can reduce the quality of your sleep and lead to anxiety, jitteriness, heart palpitations and even worsen panic attacks. Caffeine can also have some temporary diuretic effect and increase your blood pressure by 1-2 mm/Hg. Coffee has a super high caffeine content.

Addiction and Withdrawal Effect

Caffeine is addictive. Continuous caffeine consumption leads to tolerance and abstinence can cause withdrawal symptoms like headaches, tiredness, brain fog and irritability that may last for days. Coffee is super high in caffeine.

Is Coffee Good for You?

Given that drinking coffee lowers your risk of developing many common deadly diseases and make you less prone to depression and suicide, one can conclude that coffee could help you live longer. A study actually suggests that people who drank 4-5 cups of coffee per day had a much lower risk of dying. However, pregnant women, people with high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety issues, or who metabolize caffeine slowly should consider limiting their coffee consumption.

Note that even decaf coffee does contain some caffeine. Unfortunately, some health benefits of regular coffee do not apply to decaffeinated coffee.