5 Deadly Diseases That Coffee May Save You From

Woman Holding Coffee CupIt’s been a while since my last coffee article.

Despite what conventional wisdom says, coffee may actually provide a range of health benefits.

Here are 5 deadly diseases that coffee may save you from, at least if the epidemiological studies mean anything.

Coffee and Type II Diabetes

Type II diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by insulin resistance, a relative insulin deficiency and elevated blood glucose levels.

Today, about 300 million people worldwide have type II diabetes and prevalence has increased about 10-fold within a few decades. Complications of this disease include cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, blindness and amputation.

Luckily for us, the epidemiology shows that coffee consumption may drastically reduce incidence of this disease.

A meta-analysis published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2009 looked at 18 different studies with 457.922 participants that examined the association of coffee consumption and diabetes.

According to the analysis, each additional cup of coffee per day reduced risk of developing type II diabetes by 7% (1).

Other studies reveal that coffee consumption may lead to a 23% to 67% reduction in risk (2, 3, 4).

Coffee and Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia worldwide. Currently about 30 million people in the world have Alzheimer’s disease.

There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are a few lifestyle factors known to reduce risk of developing the disease later in life.

One of the most powerful lifestyle factors it seems, is drinking coffee.

Several epidemiological studies that have examined the relationship of coffee consumption with Alzheimer’s reveal up to a 65% lower risk for those who drink 3-5 cups per day (5, 6, 7).

Coffee and Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is a malignant type of cancer that originates in the liver. Globally, liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death.

Drinking coffee may drastically reduce risk of developing liver cancer.

A meta-analysis published in the journal Gastroenterology in 2007 discovered that consumption of 2 cups of coffee per day lowered the risk of liver cancer by 43% (8).

Coffee and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is another common neurodegenerative disease caused by the death of dopamine producing neurons in a certain area of the brain.

It affects about 0.3% of the population in industrialized countries and is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s.

A meta-analysis that pooled data from 26 studies was published in 2010 and examined the relationship between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease.

They found a linear inverse relationship, with 300mg of caffeine per day lowering the risk of Parkinson’s by 24% (9).

Other prospective studies confirm this inverse relationship, some revealing a risk reduction as high as 58% for those who consume the greatest amount of caffeine (10, 11, 12).

Coffee and Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death and kills about a half million people per year.

A meta-analysis measured the association of coffee and colon cancer and revealed a risk reduction of 24% for coffee drinkers (13).

Correlation Does Not Equal Causation

The epidemiological studies don’t prove anything, but the available evidence seems to point out that coffee isn’t the villain it has been made out to be.

There are a few ways to make sure that your coffee remains healthy, such as not loading it with sugar or artificial chemicals.


 

15 Comments

  1. Coffee got a bad rap for a long time, but really it’s just hot water run over coffee beans. Sounds pretty natural to me. I try and stay away from conventional coffee because of pesticides and go organic. I love it on a cold, winter morning.

  2. Kris,

    I am a regular coffee drinker now so it’s nice to know that it helps aid disease prevention. I take mine with cinnamon and Stevia and try to avoid the artificial stuff.

    Alykhan

  3. Would this be true of decaffeinated coffee as well? When I drank soda, the amount of caffeine in cola never seemed to bother me, but coffee seems to give me the shakes! I do like the taste!

    • Some of it will, some of it won’t. For example, the risk in Parkinson’s seems to be related to the caffeine – not the actual coffee.

      Still, I wouldn’t say this is reason enough to add caffeine to your diet if you’re sensitive to it.

      • Echoed my thoughts completely;

        I’ve taken caffeine out of my diet entirely and feel much better for it, but then I am one of the sensitive ones.

        I remember Layne Norton talking about a study that he couldn’t find the reference for (shame) where they’d been able to show that in responders caffeine has a deleterious effect on health, whereas for non-responders (like my misssus, she can drink a strong coffee before bed and fall straight asleep! Id’ be up all night) caffeine turned out to be protective.

        Thanks for your good work Kris,
        george

    • Be aware that in order to make decaf coffee, the beans are soaked in chemicals that aren’t exactly good for you. Some research might be in order to see if decaf can be purchased without having gone through this process.

  4. That’s good news, I could never give up coffee…

  5. Coffee makes my heart beat faster. Is that a good sign?

  6. I like drinking coffee every morning, with this information I will not feel guilty again.

  7. How could I ever do without a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee? Really good before a workout too!

    • My day is not complete without taking a cup of coffee (sometimes decaf, sometimes not) with my breakfast. I love it with honey to sweeten.

  8. Coffee, hahahaha…….. People drink coffee for what reason ?

  9. Hey Kris. Great article. Now I don’t feel so bad about drinking more coffee. I keep trying to convince people to switch to black coffee to at least eliminate the calories from it. I’m sure the sugar and cream offset the benefits.

  10. Interesting and impressive post Kris!
    I just found out how to make sure the coffee doesn’t screw with your sleep: a life saver indeed, not only because it will help me and a ton of others get their good night’s rest, but also because apparently those who metabolize coffee slowly are at a higher risk on non lethal heart attack.

    Seems to make sense: a permanently elevated heart rate and blood pressure can’t be good for you, in the long run. And lack of quality sleep is one of the biggest problems out there, and totally underestimated by most I believe,. It’s so important I’m thinking of lecturing on this very topic.

    Anyways, looks like the solution to the problem is an unexpected one… broccoli…

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