Coffee – The Truth and Should You Drink It

There’s so much contradictory information out there about coffee. One article states all its amazing health benefits and another swears it’s killing you slowly and ruining your life. I get extremely hesitant when anything states absolutes (except maybe rat poison… Come on, the evidence is pretty clear on that one). I believe that every body is different and assimilates nutrients differently based on genetic variations. So, here’s what I found.

What the Research Says

I searched the internet for hard research regarding the benefits and drawbacks of coffee. I was pleasantly surprised to find a study done by Dr. Nicola Pirastu and published in the Scientific Report. The article1 discusses the nature of coffee addiction and gene determination in the desire for it. He found a gene expression (PDSS2) that causes the body to metabolize caffeine differently. This difference in rate of metabolism causes people with certain gene expression to desire more coffee.

Harvard School of Public Health did another study on the effect of coffee on different gene expressions and there findings were much the same. They found six different gene expressions that causes individuals to process caffeine differently.2  They found that people who were able to metabolize caffeine more readily had a stronger desire for more coffee than others.

There is one more study I found interesting done by Mayo Clinic. This article reiterates the findings of the previous two by stating that coffee can be good for some and dangerous for others. It describes how the gene expression that causes us to metabolism coffee is the deciding factor in whether it will help or harm.

Coffee Benefits

Coffee can have several far reaching benefits. It can protect the cells from Parkinson’s disease. “The benefit is believed to be underpinned by caffeine’s action in blocking the adenosine A2A brain receptor.”3 It can also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and decrease the chances of getting liver disease. These are just a few of the benefits.

There are several other amazing nutrient benefits of coffee as well coffee, like high antioxidant content. This can reduce depression, strengthen DNA, reduce cancer risk and so much more. It’s really an amazing food if you can metabolize it efficiently.

Coffee Negatives

On the flip side, when you carry the gene expression that doesn’t process caffeine effectively you could be increasing your risk for high cholesterol and heart disease. This gene expression could increase your lipid count and can lead to hardening of arteries. No one wants that. It might also contribute to headaches, anxiety, poor sleep, and high blood pressure.

Another risk is adrenal fatigue. When you drink caffeine (coffee) it causes your adrenal glands to pump out adrenaline. This gives you that energetic feeling that is the second best thing about coffee (the robust flavor being the best). If your body has a hard time metabolizing caffeine your adrenal glands will pump out more and more adrenaline to compensate and bring your body back to balance. This can lead to a wealth of problem that, trust me, are no fun.

The Verdict

Generally, your body will tell you what it needs. Take time to listen to how your body is responding after you drink your morning cup of black goodness. If you are having continual headaches, tiredness, difficulty sleeping, or even elevated cholesterol or blood pressure after being on a healthy diet consider slowing your caffeine roll.

There are several great alternatives to coffee. I make a mixture out of chicory root and cocoa to cure my morning coffee habit. Then again, it could be the thing keeping you healthy. In that case, I’m very jealously toasting your hot cup of coffee with my makeshift alternative.

I’d love to here you comments about your coffee habit or lack thereof. Feel free to comment below or send me a quick email. I hope you found this article informative.

xo,

isabelle

 

Sources:

1.
Pirastu N, Kooyman M, Robino A, et al. Non-additive genome-wide association scan reveals a new gene associated with habitual coffee consumption. Sci Rep. 2016;6:31590. [PubMed]
2.
Coffee and, Cornelis M, Byrne E, et al. Genome-wide meta-analysis identifies six novel loci associated with habitual coffee consumption. Mol Psychiatry. 2015;20(5):647-656. [PubMed]
3.
National Parkinson Foundation: Believe in Better. National Parkinson Foundation. http://www.parkinson.org/find-help/blogs/whats-hot/august-2012. Accessed May 25, 2017.

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