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Coffee, a good beginning bodes well

June 01, 2022
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Coffee, a good beginning bodes well

Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antitumor action, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, protects the liver, brain and prostate of men, contrasts fatigue and depression

The aroma that is released in the rooms, a cup containing a dark liquid that goes down the throat and revitalizes. Drinking coffee is more than a daily gesture, it is almost a ritual all over the world. But the fortune of coffee is not explained only by its penetrating and enveloping scent. In fact, coffee brings important health benefits. Today we are talking about the main effects of coffee proven by scientific studies.

Coffee against fatigue

Why do many choose to drink a cup of coffee in the morning? Simply because coffee, when it is not decaffeinated, brings a burst of energy. In fact, caffeine naturally stimulates the central nervous system, counteracts the feeling of fatigue and sleepiness (Evans et al, StatPearls, 2022). And then the coffee also chases away the sadness. In fact, for every cup of coffee drunk, the risk of developing depression is reduced by 8% (Wang et al, Aust N Z J Psychiatry, 2016).

Coffee and prostate cancer

Can coffee protect against the risk of developing prostate cancer in men? For many years the subject has been much debated and, until now, the evidence was too little to be able to reach firm conclusions. Now the Italian study conducted by researchers from the Mediterranean Neurological Institute of Pozzilli Neuromed finally seems to shed some light. Almost 7,000 men over 50 were followed for four years to assess their health and coffee drinking habits. Well, what emerged was that drinking three cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of developing prostate cancer by 53% compared to those who consumed 0 to 2 cups of coffee a day. Scientists have also gone further and tested the effectiveness of coffee as an anticancer in the laboratory. Even in the laboratory, coffee extracts significantly reduced the proliferation of prostate cancer cells. But be careful, to have this protective action, coffee must contain caffeine. In fact, decaffeinated coffee extracts have not been shown to counter cancer cells (Pounis et al, International Journal of Cancer, 2017).

Coffee and brain

Coffee containing caffeine fights neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, the consumption of non-decaffeinated coffee has been shown on the one hand to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's and on the other hand to slow the progression of this disease, if it is already present (Hong et al, Nutrients, 2020). Coffee consumption has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's (Lee et al, Nutrition, 2016).

Coffee and liver

Coffee, in both decaffeinated and caffeinated forms, both instant and ground, has been shown to protect the liver and to reduce the risk of developing chronic liver disease, such as fatty liver or cirrhosis (Kennedy et al, BMC Public Health, 2021).

Coffee, obesity and diabetes

Thanks to its active ingredients, such as chlorogenic acid, caffeine and diterpenes, coffee shows antidiabetic properties and is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the diabetes typical of adults (Kusumah et a, l Food Chem Toxicol, 2022). Not only that, the consumption of coffee, but without the addition of sugars or creams, is also associated with a reduction in the risk of obesity (Barrea et al, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2021).

Coffee, warnings

The consumption of 3 cups of coffee a day is considered safe and it is also the quantity that has shown the greatest benefits in terms of health (O Keefe et al, Prog Cardiovasc Dis, 2018). However, although healthy, don't overdo it with coffee and, in some cases, this drink should be limited or even avoided. For example, pay attention if you have irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, the intake of coffee, especially if it contains caffeine, has been shown to worsen the symptoms of this condition (Koochakpoor et al, Front Nutr, 2021). Coffee consumption can also worsen stomach acid reflux and heartburn in susceptible people (Nehling et al, Nutrients, 2022).

As for the association between coffee and urinary tract problems, such as incontinence, the results are mixed. Some studies report an association between coffee and incontinence or a feeling of urgency to urinate, others even a protective effect of coffee. In this case, since there is no clear link, everything depends on the person and on his predisposition (Sun et al, BMC Urol, 2016). The same result has been observed also with regard to the association between coffee and eye pressure. Studies have shown that there is no link between coffee and glaucoma. However, in those with a strong genetic predisposition to glaucoma, coffee is actually associated with an increase in eye pressure (Kim et al, Ophthalmology., 2021).

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