5 Amazing Health Benefits from Drinking Coffee

5 Amazing Health Benefits from Drinking Coffee

Here’s a list of benefits from drinking coffee that you may not know about. Links, case studies and paper are linked in the reference section below the article if you really want to get into the weeds of the studies. If this topic really piques your interest, I would highly encourage you to read up further on each of these topics. I’m encouraged in the fact that my coffee drinking isn’t just to get my caffeine high in the morning before I start my day, but studies show it has long term positive consequences to my health. If you are suffering from some of these symptoms, it might be prudent to go seek professional help, this article is meant to educate not to be misconstrued as medical advice.

1. Coffee May Lower the Risk Against Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

The short term effects of caffeine on the nervous system are pretty well established, but long term health studies are also positive in regards to  CAIDE (Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Dementia) for those that drink 3 – 5 cups of coffee a day. The study shows that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee during your mid-life has been associated with a lower risk of dementia and AD by as much as 65% later in life! It’s unclear from the study whether or not the benefits of lower dementia / Ad risk is from other factors such as anti-oxidants or simply from the caffeine. It’s important to note that coffee/caffeine does not prevent dementia / AD, but it may delay the onset of the disease by a significant amount [1].

In the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) study, coffee drinking of 3–5 cups per day at midlife was associated with a decreased risk of dementia/AD by about 65% at late-life. In conclusion, coffee drinking may be associated with a decreased risk of dementia/AD. This may be mediated by caffeine and/or other mechanisms like antioxidant capacity and increased insulin sensitivity. This finding might open possibilities for prevention or postponing the onset of dementia/AD.

Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, vol. 20, no. s1, pp. S167-S174, 2010

Coffee & Memory Consolidation

There is also an additional study that shows caffeine has a positive effect on short term memory. This study in 2014 conducted an experiment on 160 participants and concluded individuals that were given 200 mg during the test. The next day, the participants were asked to come back to see how much they remember from the test, the test included random images shown the day before. The participants were then shown images again the next day and were asked to determine if the images were similar, old or new images in comparison from the day before [2] [3]. Caffeinated individuals showed better test results and memory consolidation.

2. Coffee Has Been Shown to Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

This study includes  1,109,272 study participants and 45,335 cases of type 2 diabetes. The follow-up for these participants ranged from 10 months to 20 years and interestingly enough the study shows that both regular caffeinated coffee and decaf were associated with a lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes. The study shows that 1 cup of coffee a day decreased the risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 8%, while those that drink 6 cups a day saw an increase in the benefit of lower risk to Type 2 Diabetes by 33%. Caffeinated coffee also showed slightly greater benefits than decaffeinated coffee [4].

3. There’s Evidence that Coffee Drinkers Live Longer

A 10-year study that consisted of 9.2 million individuals were invited across the United Kingdom to participate in the study to determine if there was an inverse relationship to drinking coffee and increased life span. The study included the following metrics total amount of intake in coffee, coffee ground type, whether it was instant coffee or manual brew, and finally regular or decaffeinated coffee. The study shows a direct inverse relationship with lower death rates in coffee drinkers by 16% in comparison to those that don’t drink coffee. In the study, there was virtually no difference in the rate for decaffeinated and instant, they both showed the same benefit as regular coffee. There was also evidence of additional health benefits to individuals that drank more than 8 cups of coffee a day [5].

4. Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Strong evidence suggests that drinking coffee may lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. A large study of women showed increased health benefits to those that drink more than 4 cups of coffee a day, lowering the rate of stroke by as much as 20% for caffeinated drinkers, as 11% to decaffeinated coffee, respectively. Another smaller study showed that the riks for heart disease was lowered by 21% in women who drank at least 3 cups of coffee a day compared to non-coffee drinkers. Men are also likely to benefit from the coffee intake of 3 or more cups a day, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease by at least 15% in one study, albeit a much smaller sample size, consisting of only 36 individuals [6].

5. Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Risk of Depression

In a large study in the relationship of coffee and caffeine consumption and depression with over 300,000 participants found a 24% reduce risk of depression among coffee drinkers great than 4 cups per day. There was a decrease of 8% risk of depression per cup of coffee individuals consumed. Additional data showed that caffeine intake of 68 to 509 mg per day linked the greatest benefit in lowering the risk of depression [7].

Three large studies of men and women in the U.S. showed a direct relationship in lower rates of suicide for individuals that drank more than 1 cup of coffee a day. The study included accessed data of 43,599 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS, 1988–2008), 73,820 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS, 1992–2008), and 91,005 women in the NHS II (1993–2007) [8].

A review looking at three large prospective cohorts of men and women in the U.S. found a decreasing risk of suicide with increasing coffee consumption. When compared with no-coffee drinkers, the pooled risk of suicide was 45% lower among those who drank 2-3 cups daily and 53% lower among those who drank 4 or more cups daily. There was no association between decaffeinated coffee and suicide risk, suggesting that caffeine was the key factor, rather than plant compounds in coffee. 

Harvard School of Public Health

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

More studies are being conducted on the health benefits of coffee & caffeine, and those studies are also looking to be positive results for long term consumption coffee. It’s worth noting that a mild caffeine dependency can develop from coffee consumption. According to a number of studies linked in the reference data below, there isn’t a conclusive link between excess coffee or caffeine having an adverse effect on the individuals studied. Meaning, unless you already have an adverse reaction to coffee/caffeine then long term use doesn’t hurt you, according to experts. But like with most things in life, it’s best to air in the side moderation and enjoy coffee responsibly.

References:

  1. 1. Caffeine as a Protective Factor in Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
  2. 2. Post-study caffeine administration enhances memory consolidation in humans
  3. 3. Pattern separation deficits associated with increased H CA3 and dentate gyrus
  4. 4. Caffeinated and Decaffeinated Coffee Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  5. 5. Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality
  6. 6. Tea and Coffee Consumption and Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality
  7. 7. Coffee and caffeine consumption and depression
  8. 8. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of completed suicide

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