coffee – is it bad for you?

tamping coffee

coffee – is it bad for you?

espresso coffeeThis is a subject that is close to my heart. The humble cup of coffee, is it the most delicious beverage you have ever known? I am interested to find out more, because some nutritionists say that coffee should be eliminated from our diet, and I am here to find out whether that is true, and why?

Coffee and cancer

In 1997 the World Cancer Research Fund produced a report that concluded that there is no correlation between coffee consumption and the development of mouth, pharynx, oesophageal or stomach cancer. Overall studies show that there is little or no correlation between coffee and cancer, and in fact, coffee can have a protective effect against spontaneous tumours, and nitrosamines.  The polyphenols that are found in this plant food, act as antioxidants, and can confer some protective effects on cancer. [1]

Coffee has been found to have a protective effect on heptocellular cancer and endometrial cancer, and has been found overall to provide a lower risk of cancer. [2] “Coffee drinking was associated with a reduced risk of bladder, breast, buccal and pharyngeal, colorectal, endometrial, esophageal, hepatocellular, leukemic, pancreatic, and prostate cancers. ” [3]

Coffee and cardiovascular disease

tamping coffee

Studies have shown no link between moderate (5 cups a day) coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease. It does not increase hypertension, except in people who drink 1 – 3 cups a day and it may protect against type 2 diabetes. [4]

Coffee and neurological diseases

There is quite a bit of evidence that coffee can protect from diseases such as Parkinsons disease [5], and dementia or Alzheimers disease later in life. [6]

The argument against coffee drinking

From what I have read there are three reasons why coffee is considered damaging to our health.

1. Coffee is absorbed in the lower intestine, and travels to every organ in the body. It is acid forming, and leaves an acidic ash in our systems, which can, over the long term, cause degenerative diseases such as cancer. [7] This would be relevant if the theory of the alkaline, acid balance is found to be true. It seems to contradict the studies that suggest that coffee has some protective effect against a wide range of cancers.

2. Coffee compromises the function of the liver, and should not be consumed in quantities of more than one cup a day. [8] Contrary to this, many studies have indicated that coffee is beneficial to the liver, both to its biochemistry, effect on liver cyrossis and liver cancer. “Less fatty liver involvement is present in coffee vs. non-coffee drinkers.” [9]

3. Coffee is acid forming and contributes to the development and progression of cancer. [10] This seems to go against the aforementioned evidence that coffee is protective against cancer.

The diuretic effect of coffee

The literature suggests that coffee can cause the body to lose water, however, this only occurs when the beverage is first consumed after a period of abstinence. Apparently the water loss effect is significantly reduced as the body gets used to the coffee consumption. [11]

Would you like a cup?

Don’t mind if I do! 🙂 Coffee is my favourite indulgence, and it is very encouraging to read that it has significant benefits not just on cancer, but also the liver, and obesity.

Good morning! 🙂



1. C Musgrove – Coffee the truth about the bean – British Nutrition Foundation, Nutrition Bulletin, December 2006

2. Caffeine – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine [accessed 7.9.2013]

3. Xiaofeng Yu, Zhijun Bao, Jian Zou, Jie Dong -Coffee consumption and risk of cancers: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. BMC Cancer. 2011, Vol. 11 Issue 1, p96-106. 11p.

4. C Musgrove – Coffee the truth about the bean – British Nutrition Foundation, Nutrition Bulletin, December 2006

5. Caffeine – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine [accessed 7.9.2013]

6. Eskelinen, Marjo H. Kivipelto, Miia – Caffeine as a Protective Factor in Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2010 Supplement 1, Vol. 20, p167-174

7. Kimberly Snyder 2008 – The Beauty Detox Solution.

8. Dr Sandra Cabot 1996- The Liver Cleansing Diet, WHAS, Paddington, Australia

9. Catalano, Daniela, Martines, Giuseppe, Tonzuso, Antonia, Pirri, Clara, Trovato, Francesca, Trovato, Guglielmo-  Protective Role of Coffee in Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Digestive Diseases & Sciences. Nov2010, Vol. 55 Issue 11, p3200-3206.

10. Kristine Matheson 2009 – Cancer to wellness- the forgotten secrets, Matheson Family Trust

11. Caffeine – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine [accessed 7.9.2013]

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