There are many opinions with duality about the positive or negative effects of coffee. However, when in doubt, it is good to resort to clinical trials and scientific studies that have been made of one of the most consumed drinks in the world.
Coffee not only stands out for its caffeine content, being the star product when we want to combat drowsiness and give a shot of energy to our body. In addition, it is associated with a multitude of antioxidants from vegetables and the prevention of serious diseases.
In this article you will see a review of the main beneficial effects of coffee, although as always, the dose makes the poison.
Contains beneficial antioxidants
Scientific sources confirm that coffee contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants found in the plant kingdom. In fact, coffee is ranked number 11 on the list of berries.
As coffee is drunk a lot and society is used to it, research carried out in Finland and Norway, it was observed that coffee is the main source of antioxidants, providing the 64% of total antioxidant intake in the western population.
Because of this, it is interesting to take these antioxidant compounds in order to reduce the presence of the known free radicals, substances that need to bind to others and, therefore, can damage the structure of DNA and the formation of proteins.
Many of the nutrients in coffee beans make their way into brewed coffee.
Coffee as such does not provide any additional calories, although it is a natural source of minerals and some vitamins.
However, what stands out is the presence of organic acids related to antioxidant substances. We are talking about hydrocinnamic acid and certain polyphenols present and analyzed regularly in coffee. [See more information]
The hydrocinnamic acid It is a very interesting compound to neutralize the free radicals present in the body, so that it acts actively in the prevention of oxidative stress.
In addition, the presence of polyphenols in coffee favors the prevention of heart diseases, different types of cancer and is even related to the reduction of type 2 diabetes, which we will discuss later.
In most scientific studies where the benefits of coffee are evaluated, the total amount consumed on average is between 400 and 600 ml, or the equivalent of 2 to 4 cups daily.
May decrease the risk of certain types of cancer
Cancer is undoubtedly one of the leading causes of death in the world. Researchers are focused on finding compounds of organic origin that act as a preventive against the development of this type of disease.
Coffee consumption has been linked to a protective effect against 2 main types of cancer: colorectal and liver cancer.
Various scientific studies [Study 1, Study 2] reflect a reduction of up to 40% in the likelihood of having liver cancer. For the other case, people who consumed between 4 and 5 cups of coffee daily saw the probability of suffering from colorectal cancer reduced by 15%, in a study with 489,706 people to study.
May decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes
Previously we have commented that there are scientific conclusions where they relate coffee and coffee reduction of type 2 diabetes.
The type 2 diabetes continues to rise in the Western world due to eating problems, overweight and poor daily habits. Therefore, some interesting measures, in addition to sports practice and a good eating habit, is to reduce sugar intake and look for more appropriate substitutes.
Type 2 diabetes is a major health problem, currently affecting millions of people worldwide.
Clinical studies have established a reduction between 23 and 50% of suffering from this disease with a habitual consumption of several cups of coffee.
Overall, the data are very positive overall, but the results offer a lot of heterogeneity. For example, several connected studies involving more than 450,000 peopleIn the case, they obtained a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes of 7%. [See study]
It can fight depression and make you happier
Depression is a growing disease in the Western world, despite benefiting more and more from a more comfortable and attractive life.
This mental disorder has always intrigued the scientific community, where it has focused on the search for various natural products that act as a remedy for this disease.
In the United States, currently  it affects more than 4% of the population, a not insignificant figure considering the volume of inhabitants of that country.
A study published in 2011 by the prestigious Harvard University, showed a 20% reduction in symptoms of depression in women who consumed 4 cups or more of coffee.
In addition, more important studies have been carried out, with a large involvement of patients (more than 200,000), with more than favorable results against depression.
Can help you burn fat
The burning of fat, without a doubt, is related to the practice of physical exercise. That is, burn more calories than we consume.
However, there are products such as coffee that can act as catalysts or accelerators of the fat burning process.
The explanation of the benefit of coffee at this point is due to its caffeine content, achieving a increased metabolic rate by up to 11% and, therefore, accelerating the fat burning process.
In addition, its effect does not always offer the same speed of metabolic rate, demonstrating greater effectiveness in thin people compared to obese people, quite the opposite of what is desirable.
Top rated coffees
Side Effects of Taking Too Much Caffeine
However, as we have introduced a phrase that we like very much, the dose makes poison. One of the possible contraindications of an abusive intake of coffee is a saturation of caffeine which, of course, has contraindications.
Can generate anxiety
Caffeine keeps us alert and awake. Its consumption blocks the effects of adenosine, a substance related to the feeling of drowsiness and tiredness.
In high doses, we can feel with a slight anxiety and nervousness that can last us for several hours.
Starting at 1,000 mg or more per day of caffeine (up to 400 milligrams is considered safe), it causes nervous breakdowns, tremors or even nausea, increasing the feeling of stress and the rate of breathing.
A quality of coffee highly appreciated by students and workers is to keep us awake when our body asks us for more sleep time. However, taking it at night or in the hours close to sleep is counterproductive for the same effect.
The caffeine contained in coffee causes insomnia, especially in people sensitive to this compound. Its effects can last for several hours from the time of ingestion.
Some digestive problems
Another side effect of coffee is that in certain people it can cause mild digestive problems.
One of the main causes is its potential effect as a laxative. This effect has been associated with the release of gastrin, a hormone produced in the stomach that promotes activity in the colon.
This effect has also been investigated, with equal effects, in decaffeinated coffee, so it is not related to the caffeine content.
Despite what can be said, there is no relationship between coffee and the formation of gastric ulcers, as has been shown in a clinical trial with more than 8,000 patients submitted to the study. [See study]
Increased blood pressure
Although it has been shown that coffee produces beneficial effects against heart disease, it does produce an increase in blood pressure, causing acute effects of hypertension in sensitive people.
Therefore, people who already suffer from this problem, should avoid consuming high amounts of caffeine, due to the side effect it causes. Faced with this, there is a number of infusions that produce a positive effect against high blood pressure.
Of course, its effect is temporary and is reduced after a few hours.
There is a small percentage of the populationwho suffers from an allergy to coffee, specifically caffeine. However, there are few studies that can discern between the allergy caused by coffee (and caffeine) or by additional components that can be mixed, such as cereals, milk, traces of nuts, etc.
In general, the symptomatology usually appears from 30 minutes since we have taken the drink, increasing the heart rate, possible skin rash, excess salivation, etc.
Benefits of Caffeic Acid
Caffeic acid (chemically known as 3,4-dihydroxy-cinnamic acid) is a compound of organic origin that is attributed great antioxidant potential. It can be found naturally in a wide range of plants, although the most complete source of this element is undoubtedly coffee.
Caffeic acid is characterized as a polyphenol, which is claimed by the scientific community for its antioxidant properties. According to studies, it is attributed several health benefits thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity.
Among the proven benefits of caffeic acid are the following:
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce exercise-related fatigue
- Prevent some types of cancer
- Limit toxicity associated with radiation and chemotherapy.
- Reduce diabetes
- Prevent premature aging
- Prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
There is a scientific study which found interesting effects of caffeic acid to significantly reduce blood sugar levels in mice with diabetes.