It will come as no surprise when we tell you that coffee is one of the most consumed beverages around the world. According to the online data site Statista, in 2020/2021, approximately 166.63 million 60 kilogram bags (or 22 billion pounds) of coffee were consumed globally. That’s a remarkable total, and speaks to just how many people all around the world regularly enjoy coffee as part of their routines. As much as coffee has become a part of people’s day-to-day lives however, many are largely unaware of its health benefits.
As noted in our past article “10 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee”, these benefits include things like providing energy, boosting antioxidants, and lowering cholesterol. Even more importantly though, coffee is also believed to be capable of preventing conditions like Type-2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, various types of cancer, and even heart disease –– or at least making them less likely.
In this piece, we’ll dive a little deeper into how exactly coffee plays a role in potentially preventing these conditions.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is a condition that causes blood glucose levels in the bloodstream to spike to potentially dangerous levels. Over time, resulting complications can lead to damage of the nerves, skin, eyes, and even kidneys –– as well as other unpleasant consequences. And while the best way to fend off Type-2 diabetes is to exercise regularly and practice healthy nutrition, coffee, as it turns out, can be part of the nutritional effort.
According to a study in the Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection, the polyphenolic compounds in coffee have shown potential to inhibit glucose spikes and prevent Type-2 diabetes. Additionally, coffee contains magnesium –– which can improve the effectiveness of insulin, and in turn boost glucose metabolism.
A study in 2014 showed that if people increased their coffee consumption by one cup per day over four years, they lowered their risk of Type-2 diabetes by 11%.
Coffee & Health: Parkinson’s Disease
While the link between coffee and Parkinson’s disease has at times been written off as insubstantial, a blog post at the SymptomFind online health platform earlier this year noted that there are now “numerous studies” investigating the link between coffee and the prevention of both Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. One such study showed that consuming 200 milligrams of caffeine per day can reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 17%. Another study revealed that men who don’t drink coffee are five times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who drink at least 25 ounces of coffee per day.
Coffee has a lot of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. Specifically, it has been shown that Eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide (EHT) and caffeine work together to protect against alpha-synuclein clumps and dopamine neuron loss –– which happens to be the primary process of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Various Types of Cancer
Unfortunately we remain far from a silver bullet when it comes to preventing or managing cancer. However, there is some evidence that coffee can help. Specifically, The American Cancer Society points to a study indicating that coffee may reduce the risk of many types of cancer –– including liver cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and head and neck cancers.
A roasted coffee bean contains hundreds of compounds such as caffeine, lignans, flavonoids, organic acids, amino acids, and antioxidants. These superfood compounds are instrumental in inhibiting cellular damage, increasing energy expenditure, inhibiting metastasis, and supporting DNA repair, and also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, among other support functions. No one of these functions fends off cancer completely. But together, they can decrease the likelihood of the aforementioned varieties of this terrible disease.
According to data from the CDC, heart disease was the leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020. And while our best methods of avoiding heart disease involve comprehensively healthy lifestyles, there are once again indications that coffee can play a role. Some studies have shown, for instance, that drinking up to three cups of coffee per day may lower the risk of developing heart disease by as much 15%.
Coffee has been associated with lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of conditions that occur together and increase the risk of heart disease. The aforementioned polyphenols found in coffee are antioxidants that protect the heart and lower the risk of heart disease.
For many Americans, coffee is part of daily living, if not a cornerstone of the morning routine. As much as most of us drink it for pleasure (and to get that morning jolt of caffeine) though, it is also a healthy addition to our routines. It is not possible, unfortunately, to prevent any of the conditions or diseases described above with 100% certain or accuracy. But coffee helps, and that’s all the more reason to enjoy this wonderful beverage.
Note that this is “Not a Medical Advice”. We hope this has given you all the more appreciation for your favorite morning drink, and please come see us at Daily Morning Coffee again before too long!