Coffee- Is it Good or Not?

Today coffee is consumed by billions across the globe every day. However, it has always been debated over for its health effects. In the recent years, scientific studies have replaced the belief on rumors. However, the results of the plethora of studies are confusing, as some support drinking coffee while others oppose it. So, scientists began aggregating these studies into umbrella reviews to help gain some general wisdom about coffee’s effects.

The cumulative verdict

The cumulative verdict of two such umbrella reviews is that drinking coffee is associated with lower risk of multiple diseases such as liver disease, some types of cancer, depression, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and Parkinson’s. Above all, coffee drinking lowers one’s risk of dying early from any cause. However, drinking coffee during pregnancy can have negative effects such as pregnancy loss, preterm birth and low birth weight.

The possibility of change in the verdict

Though the key take away message of the umbrella reviews is- “coffee can be part of a healthy diet”. However, there is a possibility of change in the verdict, with more studies revealing the still unknown facts about coffee effects.

One of the major issues with the studies is that, these have ignored the genetic diversity among the study participants. For instance, the presence of a variant of the gene CYP1A2, which slows caffeine processing in the body, heightens the risk of heart attacks.

What makes coffee good?

What makes coffee good is that it contains many antioxidant compounds which disarm the harmful molecules (reactive oxygen species) in our body. But, there is more to coffee than just the antioxidant effects.

So, how much coffee to take on a daily basis?

Recent studies have showed that you can drink some 3 to 4 cups of coffee daily. However, this one-size-fits-all guideline is problematic, partly because of ignoring genetic differences, and partly because of the difference in the sizes of a cup and the chemical makeups of the coffee they hold.

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