Caffeind: Weighing the Side Effects & Benefits of Coffee

Coffee Beans

Millions of people start their every day with a cup of coffee, while others state that coffee causes a lot of harm and, consequently, it should be restricted or excluded from daily use. Regular coffee use of 2-3 cups per day has been associated with many health benefits, those levels among those in love with their coffee makers can lead to unwanted negative effects. The benefits of coffee are typically easily spotted, though the side effects of coffee aren’t always readily apparent.

Pros vs. Cons

The benefits and harm of coffee consumption have given rise to a number of heated discussions and debates among scientists, and the increased interest in the topic was triggered from the high level of coffee use. Below we list the advantages and disadvantages of coffee, according to the latest scientific data. Meanwhile, it should be highlighted that the opinions of different scientists often contradict each other and individuals make respond differently to coffee than the average person.

As a general rule, moderate levels of coffee and caffeine consumption seem to be related to many health benefits. By contrast, excessive amounts of coffee or caffeine can cause some serious damage. Considering the research can help better understand how and when one can recognize when the benefits may cease and the downsides may begin. In either case, such as with most concerns of health, all things in balance tends to be the best approach.

Benefits of coffee

Improves Mental Performance

Caffeine improves memory and boosts concentration by means of stimulating the central nervous system, widening blood vessels, increasing the pulse. As a result, coffee provides the human body with energy 1. Coffee also promotes creative and associative thinking, so having a cup of coffee while working can increase your productivity. For those seeking caffeine alternatives, Nootropic compounds such as Vinpocetine are often attributed to providing vascular dilation benefits and other compounds such as Racetams are regarded as providing mental stimulation.

Lowered risk of Type 2 Diabetes

A number of experiments have been carried out to determine the influence of coffee on diabetes. The results show, that coffee promotes the prevention of diabetes type 2; 3 cups of coffee per day reduces the risk of diabetes by 50%. Further, the risk is reduced by 7% with every other cup 2.

Protection against Parkinson’s disease

Coffee causes a number of benefits in terms of reducing the possibility of Parkinson’s disease, namely, studies carried out in Harvard University prove that consumption of 3 cups of coffee a day reduces  the possibility of Parkinson’s disease five times, even in case of genetic factors relevance 3

Reduces risk of liver cancer

Having 3 cups of coffee per day impacts on the protection of the liver. Researchers have proved that it reduces the possibility of cirrhosis of the liver by 29 percent. And it’s not all, coffee reduces the risk of gallstones as well. 4 The liver is involved in some of the heaviest of detoxification processes in the human body. Supplements such as Calcium D-Glucarate have been shown to help assist these processes, as well as repair damaged tissue. Other non-nutritional methods of assisted detoxification such as infrared sauna use can also help reduce the burden of toxins on the body’s detoxification systems.

Positive mood

Coffee has demonstrated the ability to have a positive impact on mood. Research suggests that daily coffee consumption can be attributed to increased levels of dopamine and natural support to the GABAergic pathways in the brain (calm minded focus). Additionally, researchers note that coffee can require some upward dose adjustment but at higher levels of intake unexplained negative effects can begin to occur such as shaking, jitters, over-stimulation, and insomnia 5.

Harms of coffee

Coffee overuse causes depression

You know how easy it is to wake up after having some sips of coffee, as the coffee is able to “awaken’ the nervous system and promote the work of our brain. In spite of the fact that this feature of coffee seems to be positive, it should be noted, in case of overusing, coffee can negatively affect the nervous system. So when overused, coffee can provoke insomnia, exhaustion, irritability, tachycardia, aggression and psychosis 6.

Coffee may harm pregnant women

The harm of coffee for pregnant women  has been scientifically proven. The fact is, caffeine may pass through the placenta to the baby and has the same impacts as on mother. Thus, in case a pregnant woman drinks more than 4 cups of coffee a day, the risk of abortion increases by 30 percent. With more moderate dose of coffee consumption, the percentage of risk is rapidly falling 6.

Coffee harms the cardiovascular system.

Consumption of caffeine causes increase of blood pressure and heartbeat and such an effect can be rather dangerous for those who suffer from hypertension. To prevent coffee damage to the heart and blood vessels, people with cardiovascular diseases are generally not recommended to drink coffee 6.

Damage to micronutrients of the body

Coffee washes away a number of micronutrients and vitamins from the body, including, but not limited to calcium, magnesium, and sodium. This negative impact is even increased in case coffee is consumed immediately after eating 6. This can be avoided largely by simply abstaining from post-meal coffee drinking, though many find this difficult. Others may prefer to simply find sources of additional micronutrients, such as using a juicer to create vegetable juices, or simply taking some supplements.

Final Considerations

Taking into consideration all the facts discussed above, we can conclude that coffee can be both useful and harmful for a person. Its influence depends on the characteristics of the body and the amount of coffee consumed. A healthy person should drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee per day and there will be no harm. But those who have a hypertension, disease of blood vessels, various diseases of gastrointestinal tract or insomnia should restrict their coffee consumption. As a general rule it seems safe to conclude that coffee offers benefits when used in moderation but poses some very real risks when used in high doses.

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