Coffee is something beloved by most, some call it life blood and need it to stay awake, get awake or they just like the taste. Coffee has been around since before the 15th century when it was said that a goat herder first discovered it when he noticed his goats eating berries that gave them lots of energy and made them stay awake at night, he then noted they had similar effects when he ate them and thus the coffee bean was discovered[1].

Except for oil, coffee is the second most valuable legally traded commodity in the world and approximately 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed each day worldwide[2].

As so many people are drinking coffee what sort of health benefits or problems may arise out of this?

Many studies over the years have posed this very question and although there is still much debate most conclude that coffee/caffeine consumption is not harmful if consumed in smaller doses, one study goes so far as to recommend, “consuming at levels of 200 mg in one sitting (around 2½ cups of coffee) or 400 mg daily (around 5 cups of coffee)”[3].

Research has shown coffee with caffeine consumption can increase alertness, concentration and improve one’s mood[3]. There is a valid argument that for some coffee could disturb one’s sleep and raise one’s anxiety levels and caffeine could lead to withdrawal symptoms in some who stop drinking it[3].

Lifelong caffeine/ coffee consumption has been associated with maintaining cognitive function as one ages as well as lessing one's chances of stroke, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s[3,4].

In a Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging and Dementia (CAIDE) study they found that drinking 3-5 cups of coffee per day at midlife was associated with a decreased risk of dementia/AD by about 65% at late-life[4].

As always, further research and studies are needed to continue this conclusion.

References:

  1. http://www.ncausa.org/about-coffee/history-of-coffee Opens in new window
  2. http://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/history-coffee/ Opens in new window
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26677204 Opens in new window
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182054 Opens in new window
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/186223 Opens in new window