Wonderful Health benefits of coffee | Astounding facts about coffee

Coffee has taken an important place in human society for at least 1200 years. Its consumption, which probably originated in northeast Africa, spread out to the Middle East in the 15th century and then to Europe. After oil, coffee has become the second most valuable commodity around the world. Today, coffee is among the most widely consumed pharmacologically active beverages, and its consumption has become a regular part of daily life worldwide. It is estimated that more than half of Americans drink coffee every day. The average consumption for a person in the European Community is 5.1 kg/year, which is similar to that in the United States. It is widely consumed in India also due to the change in the work culture habits of Indians.

Coffee is a complex mixture of chemicals, and is the main source of caffeine in many populations. However, it also contains thousands of different chemicals, including carbohydrates, lipids, nitrogenous compounds, vitamins, minerals, alkaloids, and phenolic compounds.

Although caffeine is a major component of coffee, the content is highly variable—ranging between 30mg and 175mg in a cup (150mL) of home-prepared coffee. Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug worldwide and appears to exert most of its biological effects through the antagonism of the adenosine receptor. Adenosine is an endogenous inhibitory neuromodulator that prompts feelings of drowsiness, and thus caffeine induces generally stimulatory effects in the central nervous system. In addition, the physiological effects of caffeine intake include acute elevation of blood pressure, increasing metabolic rate, and diuresis.3 Based on the data reviewed, it can be concluded that moderate caffeine intake (2–3 cups or 300mg/day) is not associated with adverse effects, such as cardiovascular stimulatory effects and behavioural changes, at least in healthy adults.

May help you to prevent diabetes

Diabetes is characterized by chronically elevated levels of sugar in blood. This is because either the pancreas isn’t making enough insulin (the hormone that keeps the blood sugar in control) or your body is resistant to insulin’s effect. The insulin deficiency disease is called type 1 diabetes. Whereas the insulin- resistant disease is called type 2 diabetes. If too much sugar is present in blood stream it can overwhelm the kidneys and spill into your urine. Type 2 diabetes has been called “black death” of the twenty first century in terms of its exponential spread around the world.

The digestive system breaks down the carbohydrates we eat into a simple sugar called glucose, which is primary source of energy of all the cells in body. To get from the bloodstream to the cells it requires insulin. Without insulin the cells can’t absorb the glucose, as a result glucose starts building in the bloodstream. Over extended period of time this extra glucose can damage the blood vessels throughout the body which can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

High blood sugar can lead to a medical condition called neuropathy that can cause numbness, tingling and pain. The healing process also gets delayed due to the damage caused to blood vessels.

Coffee drinkers have a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Studies observe that people who drink coffee have a 23- 50% lower risk of getting this disease. One study showed a reduction as high as 67%.

May help you to prevent Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s is a disabling disorder affecting the speed, quality and ease of movement. Its symptoms, which worsen with time, include hand tremors, limb stiffness, impaired balance and difficulty in walking. It can also affect mood, thinking and sleep. Parkinson’s is not currently curable. This disease is caused by the die-off of specialized nerve cells in the region of the brain that controls movements.

Studies have shown that coffee drinkers are less susceptible to Parkinson’s disease and have a risk reduction of about 32-60%.

May help you to fight against cancer

Cancer is fatal disease that is afflicting the modern day’s humans due to drastic change in lifestyle changes, pollution, pesticides, stress and adulteration in food items. Cancer is basically caused when humans are exposed to carcinogens (substances that cause cancer). A carcinogen is basically a chemical substance that can be found in environmental agents, viral or genetic factors.

Cancer risk factors includes biological or internal factors, environmental exposure (UV rays), occupational risk factors like exposure to chemicals, radioactive materials, lifestyle factors like consumption of tobacco, alcohol, nitrites and polyaromatic hydrocarbon(barbecuing food). Some drugs even can increase the risk of cancer like antineoplastic agents, certain hormones and medicines that causes immune deficiency.

Coffee appears to be protective against two types of cancer: liver and colorectal cancer. Liver cancer is third leading cause of cancer death in the world, while colorectal cancer ranks fourth. Studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer. Similarly, one study in 489706 people found that those who drank 4-5 cups of coffee per day had a 15% lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Powerhouse of anti-oxidants

Coffee is the number one diet source of antioxidants in many countries including the United States, Italy, Spain, India and Norway. Coffee beans contain phenolic antioxidant compounds. The major polyphenol in coffee is chlorogenic acid. Chlorogenic acid is one of the major strong antioxidant compounds in coffee. The antioxidant activity of coffee depends on the chemical composition. In addition, it was observed that the antioxidant activity of coffee varies according to the degree of roasting. Maximum antioxidant activity was measured for the medium-roasted coffee.

Antioxidants found in coffee can effectively disarm free radicals, thus protecting against aging and many diseases that are partly caused by oxidative stress, including cancer. Coffee is particularly rich in powerful antioxidants, including hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols both of which are effective in neutralizing free radicals and preventing oxidative stress.


Bottom line

Coffee consumption is used for social activity, leisure, improvement of work performance, and well-being. Coffee is not only a medicinal alternative but also a beverage containing numerous potential health benefits. The results from many types of research suggest the positive effects of coffee consumption on various aspects of health, as mentioned above briefly. Despite the general good outcomes, it should be emphasized that individual sensitivity to coffee and the biological effects of coffee among humans may vary because of personal single nucleotide polymorphic variants, as shown in an investigation on genetic polymorphisms in Apo lipoprotein and some negative effects of coffee tend to emerge in excessive drinking, so it is the best to avoid heavy coffee intake. This review covers just a few of the health benefits and adverse effects associated with drinking coffee. Further studies on the functionally significant polymorphisms are needed for a better understanding of the effects of coffee on personal health.